Athlone, earl of

Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George Cambridge

b. 14 Apr 1874, London, England
d. 16 Jan 1957, London, England

Title: Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Dominion of Canada = Gouverneur général et Commandant en chef du Dominion du Canada
Term: 21 Jun 1940 - 12 Apr 1946
Chronology: 2 Jun 1940, appointed by Commission under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet [1]
  21 Jun 1940, oath of allegiance, oath of office and oath of Keeper of the Great Seal of Canada taken, Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Ontario [2]
  12 Apr 1946, termination of appointment with the installation of a successor [3][4]
Names/titles: Baptised: Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George; nobility title (by birth): Prince Alexander von Teck; renounced the style and title Prince von Teck and assumed the surname Cambridge by Royal License and Authority of 14 Jul 1917; nobility titles (conferred): Viscount Trematon in the county of Cambridge, Earl of Athlone [from 16 Jul/7 Nov 1917]
  Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Union of South Africa (21 Jan 1924 - 26 Jan 1931) [see details]
Biography:
Prince Alexander was the son of the 1st Duke of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide. A brother of Queen Mary, he was the uncle of King George VI. He was educated at Eton and the Military College at Sandhurst. Appointed Second Lieutenant with the 7th Hussar in 1894, he served in the Matabele campaign (1896) and in the South African War of 1899-1901. In 1904, he married Princess Alice, daughter of Prince Leopold and granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Alexander was to have been appointed Governor General of Canada in 1914, but requested that his name be withdrawn because of World War I. Retiring from his career as a soldier after the war, Athlone took an interest in education and medical research, and was Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Union of South Africa (21 Jan 1924 - 26 Jan 1931). Although thinking himself too old when asked to serve as governor general again, the Earl of Athlone served more than a full term. He was the second member of the British royal family after the Duke of Connaught to be Governor General of Canada. During World War II, the Earl of Athlone supported the Canadian war effort by inspecting troops, training schools and military hospitals. He created the Athlone-Vanier Engineering Fellowship at the Engineering Institute of Canada and also enjoyed the social activities. Upon his return to UK, Athlone served the Chancellor of London University until 1955.
Biographical sources: The Canadian encyclopedia: year 2000 edition. McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto; The Times, No. 53,741, Royal Edition, London Thursday January 17 1957, pp. 8, 12 (obituary)

[1] The full text of Royal Commission is not published in The Canada Gazette/La Gazette du Canada, but the Proclamation on assumption of the office of 21 Jun 1940 refers to "Commission under His Royal Manual Sign and Signet bearing date at the Court of St. James's the second day of June, 1940" [The Canada Gazette/La Gazette du Canada, 3rd Extra, Ottawa, Friday, June 21, 1940 / Ottawa, Vendredi, 21 Juin 1940, p. (1)]
[2] The Canada Gazette/La Gazette du Canada, 3rd Extra, Ottawa, Friday, June 21, 1940 / Ottawa, Vendredi, 21 Juin 1940, p. (1); The Globe and Mail, Metropolitan Edition, Vol. XCVII, Number 28,241, Toronto, Saturday, June 22, 1940, p. 3.
[3] The Canada Gazette, Ottawa, Friday, April 12, 1946 / La Gazette du Canada, Ottawa, Vendredi 12 Avril 1946, Vol. LXXX, No. 7, pp. (1)-2; The Globe and Mail, Metropolitan Edition, 103rd Year, No. 30,055, Toronto, Saturday, April 13, 1946, pp. (1)-2.
[4] After the Earl of Athlone permanently left Canada (16 Mar 1946), his functions were taken over by Thibodeau Rinfret as Administrator of the Government of Canada = Administrateur du Gouvernement du Canada (16 Mar 1946 - 12 Apr 1946), who continued in office until the installation of Viscount Alexander of Tunis (The Globe and Mail, Metropolitan Edition, 103rd Year, No. 30,032, Toronto, Monday, March 18, 1946, p. 17; The Canada Gazette, Ottawa, Monday, March 18, 1946 / La Gazette du Canada, Ottawa, Lundi 18 Mars 1946, Vol. LXXX, No. 3, pp. (1)-2).
Last updated on: 08 Aug 2011 12:30:53