11 FEBRUARY 1899, Page 1

The Royal Family has sustained a blow this week in

the death from brain disease of Prince Alfred, the only sou of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and heir-apparent of the Prin- cipality. He was twenty-four years old. He has always been a delicate lad, and of late his health has given canoe for anxiety, which, as it now appears, was too well founded. As the next heir, the Prince of Wales, has renounced the succes- sion for himself and his descendants, the throne will fall, in the natural course of events, to the Duke of Connaught, who thus becomes, to a certain extent, ineligible for the British Command-in-Chief. It is argued that he will, therefore, renounce the succession in favour of his son, but that is'more than doubtful. To all mew hers of the dynastic families the possession of a throne is as attractive as an inheritance is to the bourgeoisie, and both the Duke and the. Duchess of Connaught spring from a princely German stock. Saxe-

Coburg-Gotha, too, though it is not large—the two duchies cover between them seven hundred and fifty-seven English square miles, and contain nearly two hundred thousand people—is a pleasant place to role. Great men are not bullied by newspapers in Germany as they are in England.