Home > Fookem and Bug's Believe it or not! > Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece was Deaf

Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece was Deaf

September 24, 2007

Smile… Yes. Maybe some of you know that the late Princess Diana’s father-in-law, Prince Philip was the son of Princess Alice and Prince Andrew of Greece. Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice was 100% Deaf.

When I was Editor of THE GREEK DEAF COMMUNICATOR, I did a write up on Princess Alice of Greece in 1993. A librarian from the Mahoning County Library found books about Princess Alice and I took interest in doing her story. IMAGINE…. The DEAF Community of Athens, Greece NEVER knew that Princess Alice was DEAF! They went crazy when the word got into other Greek communities where Greek Deaf individuals lived.

I wrote to Prince Philip and sent a copy of the article about his Deaf mother 14 years ago. Guess what?? I got a letter from Buckingham Palace. Just ONE statement from his secretary: “Thanks for the trouble in writing.” That was it. Prince Philip did not sign his name. Just his secretary.

Prince Philip who is married to Queen Elizabeth of England never told the Princess Diana. She took pride in helping Deaf people in England and was interested in learning their sign language. I am sure that Princess Diana learned about her Deaf Grandmother in law. This probably helped her got interested in working with the British Deaf. Prince Philip’s mother died about 6 or 7 years ago. [Hats off to Irene T.]

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Princess Andrew of Greece Picture

Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece

Hugh Vickers

Princess Alice, mother of Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, was born profoundly deaf at Windsor Castle in the presence of her great grandmother Queen Victoria. She grew to become one of Europe’s loveliest princesses who spent her early married life, from 1903, in the turbulent political arena of Greece. She was the most mysterious princess of the 20th century and led a most extraordinary life, yet her story is little known. Princess Alice spent her final years in Britain and died at Buckingham Palace. Her story is now told by one of Britain’s foremost biographers. Paperback 352 pages 2001
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  1. Misha
    September 24, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Wow! I never know that Prince Philip had a deaf mom!!!!

    My question is did she sign? Or did she talk only?

    I’m still stunned by that revealation.

    Misha

  2. September 24, 2007 at 9:10 am

    My tentative opinion is that she “talked” because if the royal family never let on to Deaf community in Greece, then it would lead to audistic attitude toward Alice and ended up forcing her to learn how to speak with few occassional home signs thrown in. I can be wrong so correct me please :).

  3. Misha
    September 24, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I assumed that as well, Oscar. Let’s wait and see what it says. Thanks.

    Misha 🙂

  4. water
    September 24, 2007 at 10:13 am

    From what I recall, Prince Philip did know some signing. I beliebve it was mostly fingerspelling. I am certain, with lack of continued usage , he does not remember these.

    I understand Princess Anne knew 7 languages and were skilled in lipreading all languages. Sorry, I cant quote the source. I picked up the information here and there.

  5. water
    September 24, 2007 at 10:29 am

    I decided to do abit search. Here is the link.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Alice_of_Battenberg
    This link mention 4 language; English, German, French, and Greek. It states she learned to speak and lip-read in English and German.

  6. Misha
    September 24, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Wow, thanks for that information, water! Very interesting on her biography. Thanks again.

    Misha

  7. September 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    I was not really aware of that. I have heard about Alice. but realized Princess Philip’s mother .. That’s interesting!

  8. B.R.W.
    September 24, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I can’t believe how interesting facts you found. I think you guys are very well respected editors. I love your researching. Don’t give up.

  9. Rob
    September 24, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Uh… hello, I believed that I blogged about that two months ago: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-dwM35.IjdKQNJwA_LTS2ZA–?cq=1&p=851

    Queen Victoria knew basic finger-spellings.

    ;o)

  10. Rob
    September 24, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Um, Princess Alice died in 1969, not 6 or 7 years ago. I think you were confused with Princess Margaret (Elizabeth II’s sister) who died in Feb. 2002 and the Queen Mother who died a month later.

    Prince Philip never had a good or even cordial relationship with his “mum”. Sad to state.

  11. September 27, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Rob, you are correct that Princess Alice died in 1969.

    When the person sent us the story, we can’t change or edit it. 😉

  12. nobody
    September 27, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    I never knew about it. Wow. Is that why Princess Diana learn British Sign Language or just coincidence?

  13. kephas
    October 1, 2007 at 5:30 am

    wow! this is a new one… interesting to know that the royal family has a Deaf gene on it… who knows maybe the deaf gene may come up again and we’ll see another deaf prince or princess in the next few generatiosn to come… well… who knows!?

  14. AMBER
    October 6, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    I wonder where can i get the book from???i want to read this book…

  15. October 7, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Amber, you can find it through internet. For example,

    http://www.amazon.com/Alice-Princess-Andrew-Hugo-Vickers/dp/0312302398

  16. kristian
    February 5, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I know that princess alice was deaf in england. she was humbly becuase she was brag off other people in england. she’s grandmother’s victoria the queen.The pricess alice prefer to help other civil war but she decided. she was a nun. she wants to quite in the church.

    I did read that deaf history book. I am deaf. who was proud of the world becuase who was first make in the world.

    you let you know us.

  17. sue
    May 5, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Well what an arrogant man Prince Phillip is. he does not even acknowledge his mums Culture. poor him!! yes to Kephas idea taht there might be a Deaf person in the royal family. That would be good. If he knows sign, why does he hide it?!!!!!

  18. May 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    i m doing project on deaf royals i ve found seven of them so far,thought you might find this of interest.

  19. Kevin
    June 9, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    My understanding is that Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (nee Princess Alice of Battenberg) did not use sign language. She read lips fluently in several languages and spoke (at least) English, German, French and Greek. The Duke of Edinburgh had a “different” childhood and, it seems, rarely saw his mother after his early childhood. (Prince and Princess Andrew did not have a happy marriage. Prince Philip, it appears, was shuttled amongst various family members … his maternal uncles Lord Milford Haven and Lord Mountbatten eventually taking charge of him.) Princess Andrew spent some time in a private “rest home” and eventually founded a religious community of women in the Greek Orthodox Church. Except at the wedding of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1947, she was (I believe) always seen in the garb of her religious community until her death. Her last years were spent with the British Royal Family and she died in England. She is buried in Jerusalem. The Duke of Edinburgh never ignored his mother nor was she pushed aside. Princess Andrew chose adifferent life and her family respected that.

  20. jimmyLee Meadows
    December 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    I can’t believe that Philip would not pride of his mother deafness. Stories are very interesting. I surprise new history to me. Thank you

  21. January 30, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Any memebership who are deaf should be open mind and we will rejoice and heard deaf are unable and seen like bit selfish and lte have a broke barrak so try into , GOOD LUCKY if any new come then be in !1

  22. David Di Cesaris
    October 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Hello,
    I am trying to find deaf princess Katherine Anjou Plantagenet born in 25, Nov 1253 died in 03 May 1257. I could not find the biography about her. I would like to know about her so I can write my essay about her in college. Please let me know as soon as you can. e-mail me at the address above. Thank you so much.
    David

  23. June 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    did Alice knew how the correct speak by words perfect without use the Greece Sign Launage ????

  24. June 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    did Alice wear the Aids hearing upon her ears ?

  25. Victor
    April 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Awesome lady–what a true princess should be. I am presenting a report on her in my ASL class, and my eyes have been open to what an amazing TRUE Princess she was. She is my newest hero–her charity, her huility, and her triumph over life’s adversities are inspiring!!

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