Characters > Historical

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Arthur William Patrick Albert

Photo of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn

With the outbreak of the war it was natural for the Duke to consider himself the Canadian commander-in-chief. While Sir Robert Borden respected the governor general’s long army experience, he quickly warned Connaught that he was commander-in-chief in name only. Military and political decisions would be made by the Canadian government.

In Fire on the Hill, Count Jaggi, a German agent, attending a Belgian Relief fundraiser in the ballroom of the Ch√Ęteau Laurier, meets the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. The Count is accompanied by Katherine MacNutt, wife of Inspector MacNutt of the Dominion Police’s Secret Service. Also, we see the Count and Katherine attend the opening of Parliament, over which the governor general presides.

Until they left Canada, in October 1916, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught worked tirelessly to help Canada’s war effort by reviewing troops, organizing assistance for the dependents of men on active service, and helping organize the Canadian Patriotic Fund.


When the Duke of Connaught arrived at Quebec on October 13th, 1911, it was not the first time that he had visited Canada. He had spent a year with the Royal Engineers at Montreal forty-one years before and had also taken part in the suppression of the first Red River Rising in 1870.

Born on May 1 1850, he had entered the Royal Military College in 1868 and had served in England, Egypt, Bombay and Ireland. He was promoted to the rank of general in 1893. When he returned to Canada he held the rank of field marshall.

On 13 March 1879, he married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. They had three children:

Sources and further reading


Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn - The Canadian Encyclopedia

The Governor General of Canada, Government of Canada

Arthur William Patrick Albert, duke of Connaught and Strathearn (British military officer) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia

Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Gwyn, Sandra. Tapestry of War. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1984.

Gwyn, Sandra. The Private Capital: Ambition and Love in the Age of Macdonald and Laurier. Toronto: HarperCollins, 1989.