Childhood and early life

Princess Alice was born Lady Alice Christabel Montagu Douglas Scott on Christmas Day, 1901 at Montagu House, London. She was the third daughter of the seventh Duke of Buccleuch, who had been a fellow midshipman of the future King George V.

Lady Alice was educated at home until the age of 12. She then went to school at West Malvern, spending a year in Paris before returning home to be presented at Court in 1920. Lady Alice greatly enjoyed outdoor pursuits, including skiing, and was an accomplished watercolourist. She also travelled widely, to places off the beaten track at the time.

Her travel adventures began in Africa. Her sister became engaged to the ADC of the Governor-General of South Africa, then a British dominion, and Lady Alice travelled out by boat for the wedding. In South Africa her adventures included safaris, a visit to Victoria Falls and a bout of cerebral malaria from which she was lucky to recover.

In 1929, a long-standing passion for Kenya began when Lady Alice travelled out to help her uncle and his family on their farm. Falling in love with the country, she made three trips. During her time there she learned Swahili and travelled widely. At times when her uncle was absent on business, Lady Alice managed the farm herself.

African experiences encouraged Lady Alice to spend time in India, where she visited her brother serving with the 10th Hussars in Lucknow. The trip included a foray across the border into Afghanistan with army friends.

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