Prince Maurice (1620-1652)

Prince Maurice (1620-1652)

Prince Maurice

Son of Frederick V, elector Palatine and his wife Elizabeth, the sister of Charles I, and thus a nephew of Charles. Younger brother of Prince Rupert. In August 1642 he arrived in England with Rupert, accompanied by a staff of mostly English and Scottish professional soldiers with experience on the continent, determined to fight for their uncle in the Civil War. He was involved, with Rupert, in one of the first battles of the war, Powick Bridge (23 September 1642), a minor skirmish by later standards, but a royalist victory, in which Maurice was himself wounded, and which much improved Royalist morale in the early period of the war.

Maurice was given his own command early in 1643, when Charles sent him to Gloucestershire after the successes of William Waller (March). This first visit to the west saw Maurice victorious at the battle of Ripple Field (13 April 1643), the first defeat inflicted on Waller, although Maurice with 2,000 men did outnumber Waller with 1,500. Soon after his victory, Maurice was recalled by Charles to help with the relief of Reading, but was soon back in the west, although this time not with his own command. On 19 May he left Oxford with a force commanded by the Marquess of Hertford, with orders to join with the army of Sir Ralph Hopton and return to Oxford with the combined force, which was to form part of a strong field army based at Oxford. The two armies met at Chard on 4 June. Together, they had some 6,300 men, but their command structure was a source of potential weakness. Hertford was not a soldier, while Hopton and Maurice both had claims to command. Luckily, Hertford was willing to be a figurehead, while Maurice was satisfied with the command of the cavalry, leaving Hopton in overall charge. Facing them was Waller, whose main concern was to prevent the Royalists reaching Charles at Oxford.

Maurice and his cavalry played a mixed role in the campaign that followed. At the first encounter between the two forces (Chewton Mendip, 10 June 1643), Maurice was for a short time captured, but it was his leadership which prevented a Royalist disaster. In contrast, at the first real battle (Lansdown, 5 July 1643), the Cavalry performed poorly. Their attacks on a strong Parliamentary position failed, and all but 600 of the 2,000 fled the field, leaving the Cornish infantry to save the day for the Royalists, although there is no suggestion that Maurice was at fault. Indeed, the next few days saw Maurice at his best. In the aftermath of Lansdown, Hopton was badly injured in an explosion, leaving Maurice to command the Royalist retreat to Devizes, pursued by Waller's much larger force. Once in Devizes, it was decided to sent to Oxford for help, and Maurice, with Hertford and the Cavalry left Devizes on 10 July, reaching Oxford the next morning, after an impressive 45 mile overnight ride. In Oxford, they found Charles already aware of the danger. On the previous two days he had sent out reinforcements, including a cavalry brigade under Lord Wilmot. Maurice was able to gain another brigade, and on 12 July was sent back with the reinforcements. The following day the new cavalry inflicted a heavy defeat on Waller (battle of Roundway Down, 13 July 1643). Maurice was present, but does not appear to played a major part in the battle.

After Roundway Down, Maurice was given command of the Cornish army. His first engagement was the capture of Bristol (26 July). While Maurice faced the southern defences of the city, Prince Rupert faced the weaker northern walls. This was reflected in their respective plans, with Maurice wishing to run a prolonged siege, and Rupert determined to risk an assault. It was Rupert who prevailed, and the assualt went in on 26 July. The Cornish troops were repulsed from the strong southern defences, losing several of their best commanders, but Rupert was successful, and the city fell. After taking Bristol, the two armies split, Maurice heading back into the west to reduce the last Parliamentary strongholds. At first things went well, and he captured Exeter on 4 September and Dartmouth on 6 October, but he stalled before Plymouth.

The next year he moved on to attack Lyme, the last chain in a string of fortresses that ran from the Bristol channel across to Lyme bay, and the only one still in Parliamentary hands. He began his siege on 20 April 1644, but ran into problems right from the start. The terrain made it hard for him to bombard the city properly, while his lack of a fleet meant he could not stop the Parliamentary fleet from reinforcing the garrison. Meanwhile, the earl of Essex was advancing with a relief force, and at 2 am on 15 June Maurice was forced to abandon the siege, having wasted eight weeks and 1,000 lives, as well as doing much damage to his reputation. However, Essex helped redeem the situation by marching into Cornwall, where he was eventually cornered at Lostwithel by Charles I in person. Maurice played an important role in the battle of Beacon Hill (21 August 1644), commanding one part of the long front upon which Charles chose to attack.

He was also present at the second battle of Newbury (1644), where he commanded a portion of his western army. This force found itself at the heart of the fighting. It was positioned at the village of Speen, on the western side of the King's position. It was here that the Parliamentary flanking attack, again under Waller, hit hardest, and Maurice's troops were driven back out of the village. For a moment, Charles and Maurice, who were at the head of the reserves, were threatened by the melee, but they were soon rescued, and Charles was able to escape with his army intact.

1645 was a year of disasters. At the start of the year Maurice was based at Shrewsbury, the main training base for new recruits from Wales. However, while he was away at Chester, the city fell to Parliament (22 February 1645). This caused the Royalists great problems, blocking the main route for their recruits, and isolating Chester. He was also present at Naseby (14 June 1645), fighting on the right wing. After the defeat, he was appointed governor of Worcester, being fortified in case Oxford became too dangerous. However, by the time Charles needed the refuge, Prince Rupert was in disgrace after surrendering Bristol (October 1645), and Maurice suspect with him. Maurice stood by his brother, defending him to the king, and travelling with him as he attempted to gain a hearing from Charles. Although Rupert was vindicated, the controversy helped destroyed Charles's last army. Maurice and Rupert remained loyal to the end, besieged in Oxford. They surrendered on 22 June 1646, two days before the rest of the garrison, and on 26 June were banished by Parliament. Maurice remained with Rupert in exile, and joined him in virtual piracy, but was lost at sea in 1652

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Maurice, in full Maurice, Prince Of Orange, Count Of Nassau, Dutch Maurits, Prins Van Oranje, Graaf Van Nassau, (born Nov. 13, 1567, Dillenburg, Nassau—died April 23, 1625, The Hague), hereditary stadtholder (1585–1625) of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, or Dutch Republic, successor to his father, William I the Silent. His development of military strategy, tactics, and engineering made the Dutch army the most modern in the Europe of his time.

Prince Maurice

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Person:Prince Maurice von Simmern (1)

Maurice, Prince Palatine of the Rhine KG (Küstrin Castle, Brandenburg, 16 January 1621 ns. – near the Virgin Islands, September 1652), was the fourth son of Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Princess Elizabeth, only daughter of King James I of England and VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark.

He accompanied his elder brother, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, to take the part of their uncle Charles I in the English Civil War in 1642. He served under Rupert with the cavalry at the Battle of Powick Bridge, where he was wounded, and the Battle of Edgehill. He commanded the army in Gloucestershire which engaged Sir William Waller in several battles in 1643, including the victory of Ripple Field (13 April), culminating in the Royalist victory at the Battle of Roundway Down (13 July). He took command of the army in Cornwall and campaigned in the southwest for the remainder of the year.

In April 1644, he besieged Lyme Regis, but was forced to give up the siege in June, at considerable cost to his military reputation. He fought as a subordinate at the Battle of Lostwithiel and the Second Battle of Newbury, and under Rupert at the Battle of Naseby.

He attempted to defend Rupert's surrender of Bristol in 1645 to Charles. While unsuccessful, he did not share in Rupert's disgrace. Banished with Rupert in October 1646, he served with the French army in Flanders, but rejoined Rupert in 1648 as vice-admiral of his fleet. He was created a Knight of the Garter in exile in 1649. In 1652, while sailing for the West Indies, specifically near the Virgin Islands, he was caught in a hurricane and went down with his flagship, HMS Defiance.


The Township of Maurice River was incorporated as township on February 21, 1798 under the State of New Jersey Township Law of 1798. Today Maurice River Township encompasses 94.7 square miles and includes the villages of Delmont, Heislerville, Leesburg, Dorchester, Bricksboro, Port Elizabeth, Cumberland and a portion of Milmay.


Part of Milmay - a settlement midway between Millville and Mays Landing - lies within Maurice River Township along the upper Manumuskin. Cedar Logging took place in this area as soon as 1758. Along with East Vineland, Milmay was settled from the 1870's into the 1890's, first by Italian and then by Polish immigrants attracted to the region by Vineland's founder and developer, C.K. Landis. The railroad was routed through Milmay around 1894 and a post office established in 1897. Around 1905, the Waldeck Company attempted - ultimately unsuccessfully - to grow first tobacco and then licorice in the area. There is a historic survey marker somewhat east of Milmay which divides three townships in the 18th century this marker was placed there by the Council of Proprietors of West New Jersey, a land development corporation founded in 1688. Milmay and East Vineland share two historic Roman Catholic Churches: St. Mary's, founded in 1884, and Our Lady of Pompeii, founded in 1907.


The Cumberland Pond we see today is a remnant of a major industrial facility called Cumberland Iron Furnace. There had been a smaller-scale "bloomery forge" in the area since around 1785. Eagle Glass Works in Port Elizabeth was established in 1799. In 1810, Eli Budd created the power for his new complex - Cumberland Iron Furnace - by damming the Manumuskin, creating a pond twice larger than at present. Ore was brought to the furnace by wagon overland from Schooner Landing on the Menantico. "Manumuskin Manor," the home of Wesley Budd, Eli's son, still stands and serves as a private residence. It was built before 1831 and possibly earlier. Cumberland United Methodist Church was built in 1947, replacing a frame church built in 1862.


Bricksboro was founded by Joshua Brick who laid out its lots in 1807. Brick and his partner James Lee owned a shipbuilding business in Port Elizabeth, producing wooden sailing vessels for the carrying trade. Possibly Bricksboro was the site of wharves built to handle Port Elizabeth's maritime commerce after that town had, in 1789, been designated by Congress as the port of delivery for the Maurice River region.

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth came into early prominence soon after 1778 as an industrial center and later, as one of the state's federally-designated ports, when in that year the state Assembly legalized diking corporations and a bridge/dam was built across the Manumuskin River, drying out much valuable meadow for farming upstream of the dam and allowing commercial traffic over the bridge. Wharves were built downstream for shipping. The owner of the newly valuable lands was Elizabeth Clark Bodly, a Quakeress who lies buried in the Friends Burial Grounds on Route 47. She laid out and sold lots in 1785. The town still bears signs of its once vibrant Quaker heritage. Port Elizabeth United Methodist Church was built in 1827 to replace the county's first Methodist church built in 1786. Dr. Benjamin Fisler designed the church and oversaw its construction. John Boggs Hall was built in 1854. The present-day Port Elizabeth Library was built, again by Fisler, in 1810 to be his store and just across the street, Fisler built his office, also in the early 1800's.

Much of Port Elizabeth's early industrial activity, unfortunately, no longer exists, though pieces of this history remain. For example, the Eagle Glass Works Hotel - built around 1807 - still stands and is used as a private residence. Eagle Glass Works was established in 1799, New Jersey's third glass house. St. Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church, built as Port Elizabeth Academy by Fisler and others in 1810, was, from 1843, the church used by the glass works' German workers. In 1878, this church was moved by raft to Goshen where it still is in use.


As told by historian Herbert Vanaman, it was on the Maurice River in Dorchester where the Dutch ship, the Prince Maurice, is reported to have sunk and to have given the river its name. In 1799, Peter Reeve bought the land Dorchester occupies from the West Jersey Proprietors and made lots for sale. Shipbuilding has always been the principal industry in Dorchester. The A.J. Meerwald was built at Dorchester Shipyards in 1928 when it was owned by Charles H. Stowman and Sons. Dorchester United Methodist Church was built in 1856. There used to be a variety of stores and services in Dorchester, including Sickler's Hotel which catered to stagecoach and river travelers. There was once a ferry connecting Dorchester to Mauricetown.


According to the historian Lucius Elmer, Leesburg was established around 1800 by the brothers Lee, ship-carpenters from Egg Harbor. However, the Leesburg area must have been settled before then because George Heisler, Sr. moved there with his family in the 1700's. A Methodist "class" was organized in 1792 and in 1812, Leesburg Methodist Church was built. In 1849, the Leesburg Windmill was built by William Carlisle at the site of present-day Allen's Steel Company. "Oak Leaf Academy"- a two-story, four-room schoolhouse, in use until June 1958, when it was converted to the Maurice River Municipal Building - was built in 1856. Whibco Shipyard was once the home of Delaware Bay Shipyard, founded in 1928 and eventually employing over 500 people in five separate businesses. Once diked farms lined the Maurice River all the way from Leesburg to Millville.


The "Glade" separates Delmont from Heislerville, known until around 1860 as Maurice River Neck. Heislerville's history is connected to its outlying neighbors: East Point, Matt's Landing, Thompson's Beach, Maurice River and Menhaden. Indians migrated south to East Point from their winter quarters along the Manumuskin and the Menantico. Their name for the Maurice River was "Wahatquenak." European settlement began in the early to mid-1700's. Along with fishing, agriculture was Heislerville's other main industry early on. Train loads of Heislerville strawberries were shipped from "Link City," a railroad station on Matts Landing Road, which also served the oyster packing operations located in the "ghost" village of Maurice River, on the river opposite Bivalve. Salt hay also was harvested in parts of the huge area formerly known as the Cadwallader Estate, now the Heislerville Wildlife Management Area. Around 1793, George Heisler, Jr. homesteaded in Heislerville and held Methodist meetings there. Heisler Memorial Methodist Church was built in 1855.


Delmont, until 1891, called Ewings Neck, has been home to its earliest European settlers since 1770. To explain the name: the Ewing family was one of the first to settle in the area and a "neck" is a name often given to a stretch of higher ground surrounded by marshes and low-lands. Delmont's post office was established in 1851 mail first came by stagecoach and later by train after the Cape May-Millville Railroad opened in 1863. Its first church was a one-room wooden structure which also served as the village's first school. Delmont United Methodist Church was built in 1872. Delmont School - a two-story wood-frame structure now in disrepair- was built in 1887.

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Maurice and Oldenbarnevelt [ edit | edit source ]

The Seven United Provinces known as Netherlands, protagonists of the Eighty Years' War against Spain from a 1658 map by Janssonius

Maurice started out as the protégé of Landsadvocaat (Land's Advocate, a kind of secretary) Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. But gradually tensions rose between these two men. Against Maurice's advice, and despite his protests, Van Oldenbarnevelt decided to sign the Twelve Years' Truce with Spain, which lasted from 1609–1621. The required funds to maintain the army and navy, and the general course of the war were other topics of constant struggle.

With the religious troubles between Gomarists (Calvinists) and Arminians, the struggle between Van Oldenbarnevelt and Maurice reached a climax. Van Oldenbarnevelt was arrested, tried and decapitated despite numerous requests for mercy. From 1618 till his death Maurice now enjoyed uncontested power over the Republic. He expanded the Stadtholder's palace at the Binnenhof in the Hague. The Maurice Tower is nowadays part of the building complex of the Senate of the Netherlands.

Maurice urged his cadet half brother, Frederick Henry to marry in order to preserve the dynasty.

In 1621 the war resumed after a 12-year period of truces, and the Spanish, led by Ambrogio Spinola, had notable successes, including the siege of Breda, the old family residence of the Nassau's, in 1625.

Maurice died on 23 April 1625, with the siege still underway. Justin of Nassau surrendered Breda in June 1625 after a costly eleven-month siege.

Meanwhile, the Dutch also lost formerly occupied Baia de Todos os Santos, Salvador de Bahia in Brazil, 1 May 1625, under the heavy attacks of the Spanish–Portuguese Fleet, commanded by the Captain General of the Spanish Navy, since 1617, Admiral Fadrique II de Toledo Osorio y Mendoza (Naples, Italy, May 1580 – 11 December 1634), 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza, and, since 17 January 1624, Knight of the Order of Santiago.


Prince Maurice was born on 3 October 1891. He was given the name Maurice after his father Prince Henry of Battenberg and the great-grandfather, Count Maurice von Hauke, Victor after his grandmother the Queen, and Donald in honour of Scotland, as he was born at Balmoral Castle. His father was Prince Henry of Battenberg, the son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and Julie Therese née Countess Hauke. His mother was Princess Henry of Battenberg (née The Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom), the fifth daughter and the youngest child of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort.

As his father was the child of a morganatic marriage, Prince Henry of Battenberg took his style of Prince of Battenberg from his mother, Countess Julia Hauke who was created Princess of Battenberg in her own right. As such, Maurice was styled as His Serene Highness Prince Maurice of Battenberg from birth. In the United Kingdom, he was styled His Highness Prince Maurice of Battenberg under a Royal Warrant passed by Queen Victoria in 1886.

The youngest of his four siblings, Maurice most resembled his father, who died when the Prince was only four, the same age his mother was when her own father died. He was his mother's favourite out of his brothers. He was educated at Lockers Park Prep School in Hertfordshire.

His elder sister Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, married Alfonso XIII of Spain and was Queen Consort of Spain between 1906 and 1931.

Prince Maurice of Battenberg

Prince Maurice of Battenberg was born on October 3, 1891, at Balmoral Castle, his grandmother’s beloved home in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He was the third son and the youngest of the four children of Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria’s youngest child, and Prince Henry of Battenberg. The birth of a prince in Scotland was cause for great celebration. A royal salute was fired, a bonfire was built, and the locals who lived and worked on the Balmoral estate drank whiskey to the newborn prince’s health, paraded, and danced.

The infant prince was christened on October 31, 1891, in the drawing-room of Balmoral Castle, the first christening of a prince in Scotland for 300 years. Queen Victoria, the proud grandmother, commissioned a painting to commemorate the christening. She can be seen in the painting by the Scottish artist Sir George Reid holding her grandson, dressed in the same christening gown used by so many princes and princesses before him, with the baby’s father Prince Henry, wearing the Royal Stuart tartan, standing next to her. The new prince was given the names Maurice (his father’s middle name), Victor (after his grandmother Queen Victoria), and Donald (a compliment to Scotland).

    (his maternal aunt by marriage, born Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia) , born Princess Marie of Baden (wife of Ernst Leopold, 4th Prince of Leiningen who was his second cousin once removed) (his first cousin, Prince Albert Victor, known as Prince Eddy) (his paternal uncle) (his first cousin Ernst Ludwig, the future Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine)

The Baptism of Prince Maurice of Battenberg by George Ogilvy Reid Credit – The National Galleries of Scotland

Prince Maurice had three older siblings, two brothers and a sister:

    , after 1917 Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke (1886 – 1960), married 1917 Lady Irene Denison (1887 – 1969), married 1906 King Alfonso XIII of Spain, they are the paternal grandparents of King Juan Carlos I of Spain , after 1917 Lord Leopold Mountbatten (1889 – 1922)

Princess Beatrice and her children Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Prince Maurice’s mother was one of two daughters (Princess Alice was the other) of Queen Victoria who was a hemophilia carrier. His brother Leopold was a hemophiliac and died during a hip operation. His sister Victoria Eugénie, known as Ena, was a hemophilia carrier and had two hemophiliac sons. For more information on hemophilia in Queen Victoria’s family see Unofficial Royalty: Hemophilia in Queen Victoria’s Descendants.

Queen Victoria had allowed Maurice’s parents to marry under the condition that Beatrice and Henry live permanently in the United Kingdom with her. Henry was increasingly bored with court activity and longed to do something on his own. Ten years after his marriage, Henry pleaded with his mother-in-law to allow him to join the Ashanti expedition fighting in the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. Queen Victoria reluctantly agreed and Henry left for Africa on December 6, 1895. In Africa, Henry contracted malaria, was sent back home but died aboard the ship on January 20, 1896. Maurice was four years old, the same age his mother Beatrice was when her father Prince Albert died.

Maurice was the child that most resembled his father and he was his mother’s favorite. He attended Lockers Park School, a day and boarding preparatory school in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England and then attended Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire, England.

Prince Maurice Photo Credit – Wikipedia

In 1900, Prince Maurice’s much older first cousin Prince Christian Victor of Schleswig-Holstein, son of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Helena, was participating in the Boer War when he came down with malaria and then enteric fever and subsequently died. Maurice was upset with his cousin’s death especially since Christian Victor had served with his father in the Anglo-Ashanti Wars. Prince Christian Victor’s regiment was the 60th King’s Royal Rifles. The news of Prince Christian Victor’s death arrived at Balmoral Castle where Maurice’s family and Christian Victor’s family were both staying. In his dressing gown, Maurice went to the room of Christian Victor’s sister Princess Helena Victoria (known as Thora), and said, “Cousin Thora, it may comfort you to know that I have decided to join the 60th when I am old enough.”

In 1910, Prince Maurice fulfilled this promise to his cousin Thora and joined the 60th King’s Royal Rifles. When World War I started, all three of Princess Beatrice’s sons were serving in the British Army and the princess received a letter asking her what effort she would play in the effort to win the war. Princess Beatrice replied that her husband had died on active duty and that all three of her sons had left for the front on August 12, 1914, just eight days after the United Kingdom had declared war.

On October 27, 1914, Prince Maurice was leading an attack on the German frontline at Zonnebeke near Ypres in the Belgian province of West Flanders when he was mortally wounded by shrapnel. The platoon sergeant tried to offer help to the wounded prince, but Maurice, aged 23, died before his men could bring him to a safer place. Upon hearing the news, King George V who was Prince Maurice’s first cousin, and Queen Mary drove to Kensington Palace to console Princess Beatrice. Lord Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, offered to have Prince Maurice’s body brought back to England, but Princess Beatrice replied, “No, let him lie with his comrades.” Prince Maurice was buried in the in Ypres Town Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.

Prince Maurice’s grave in 1915 Photo Credit –

On November 5, 1914, a memorial service for Prince Maurice was held at the Chapel Royal at St. James’ Palace in London. Those who attended included Princess Beatrice, King George V, Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, Field Marshal Kitchener, Field Marshal Grenfell and the former Empress Eugénie of France whose only child was killed in 1879 while serving with the British in the Anglo-Zulu War.

Prince Maurice’s grave today Photo Credit – Wikipedia

Dennison, Matthew. The Last Princess. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007. Print.
Duff, David. The Shy Princess. London: William Clowes and Sons, Limited, 1958. Print.
“Prince Maurice of Battenberg.” Wikipedia. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.

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