What’s in a name?
Both Eugenie and her sister Beatrice were named after members of the Royal Family with direct links to Queen Victoria. In Beatrice’s case, her first name is that of Victoria’s youngest daughter, followed by Elizabeth Mary, which both come from her grandmothers, including The Queen.
Eugenie’s full name – Eugenie Victoria Helena – is another nod to the matriarchal line. Helena was Victoria’s third daughter, while Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg was the formidable monarch’s granddaughter, born to Princess Beatrice.
Victoria Eugenie became Queen of Spain, but her own marriage to King Alfonso
XIII faced some hurdles that our Eugenie has not had to overcome. For a start, her future mother-in-law was not a fan (she considered the Battenberg part of the family beneath her and wanted Catholic royalty for her son) but eventually relented.
And there would be no Windsor wedding here. Victoria Eugenie travelled to Madrid in 1906, via Versailles and Biarritz and converting to Catholicism along the way. During the procession back to the Royal Palace after the wedding anarchists attempted to assassinate the king and queen. A thrown bomb killed at least 15 people and injured many more. Victoria Eugenie was uninjured, but began married life in a blood-spattered dress.
It wasn’t the happiest of marriages and the Spanish royal family would eventually go into exile in Switzerland. Victoria Eugenie devoted herself to charity work, including The Red Cross, and died in Lausanne in 1969. The current King of Spain is her great-grandson.
Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, granddaughter of Queen Victoria