In 1883, it was decided that her husband should go to India and that she should accompany him – leaving their children behind. They had no idea how long their stay was going to be, but Louise Margaret knew it was the sacrifice a soldier’s wife had to make. The children remained with Queen Victoria, and wherever her court was. While in India, they were often travelling around if Arthur’s posting allowed it. In early 1885, they were informed that they were to return home, but a Russian attack on Penjdeh delayed their departure and Engeland prepared for war. They were able to return to England briefly for the wedding of Arthur’s sister Beatrice, but on the day of their arrival, news arrived that Louise Margaret’s father had died and so they travelled straight on to Potsdam for the funeral. They did not come to Windsor until the end of June.
On 17 March 1886, Louise Margaret gave birth to a second daughter named Patricia at Buckingham Palace. They returned to India not much later, and this time, their two eldest children were with them for most of the time. In 1889, they finally left India for good and travelled via Japan and Canada to see some sights. Life slowly returned back to normal.
In 1896, Arthur and Louise Margaret travelled to Russia to attend the coronation of Nicholas II of Russia and his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna. The following year, Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee. In 1899, the royal couple visited Italy, where they called on the King and Queen of Italy, and they were received by the Pope. After leaving Italy, they travelled to Egypt while their daughters remained behind in Florence. The following year, they visited Germany to see Arthur’s sister Victoria who was already seriously ill, but things seemed hopeful, and they intended to return the following autumn.
In early 1901, Queen Victoria passed away at the age of 81 and Arthur was one of the executors of her will. Just a year later, Arthur was in charge of all the military arrangements for the coronation of his brother, now King Edward VII, and Arthur and Louise Margaret returned to India at the end of the year as representatives of the royal family at the State Durbar and proclamation of King Edward VII at Delhi. Afterwards, they left for Ireland, where Arthur was stationed.
In February 1905, the engagement of their eldest daughter Margaret and the Crown Prince of Sweden was announced, and their wedding took place on 15 June in St George’s Chapel at Windsor. Louise Margaret’s first grandchild was born on 22 April 1906, and he was named Gustaf Adolf. Over the next ten years, she would give them four more grandchildren. In 1910, Arthur’s brother King Edward VII passed away, and he was succeeded by his son, now King George V.
In 1911, the Connaughts went abroad once more. Arthur was appointed Governor-General of Canada, and Louise Margaret would join him there. She had been in good health until then, but she developed peritonitis. She continued to do what she could. By 1913, she was so ill that she went home to England where she underwent two serious operations. She returned to Canada at the end of the year, but she had not yet recovered fully. Her daughter Patricia fell in love with a commoner named Commander Ramsay, and although Louise Margaret liked the man personally, such marriages were not typically allowed. They would have to wait a long time for permission while Louise’s Margaret’s son Arthur married Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, the daughter of King Edward VII’s daughter Louise, Princess Royal, in 1913, and their only child was born the following year. In 1914, the elder Arthur resigned the governorship of Canada.
During the First World War, Louise Margaret and her daughter Patricia engaged in numerous activities relating to the war. They raised money for charities, attended Red Cross meetings and donated handmade items. However, Louise Margaret’s zeal in the war effort had weakened her – already strained – heart, and although she tried to keep going, she fell ill with influenza and bronchitis on 13 February 1917.
Her recovery was slow, and her thoughts were with her children. She wanted Patricia to marry Commander Ramsay, and she gave them her blessing. Then she also contracted measles. There was now no more hope, and Louise Margaret died on 14 March 1917 – still only 56 years old.1