Leopold was the youngest and most intelligent of Queen Victoria's four sons. Ironically he was a sickly child who suffered from haemophilia, a condition which prevents blood from clotting, and epilepsy. His relationship with his mother was often difficult, as she tried hard to protect him from physical over-exertion and he bitterly resented her treating him like an invalid. Nevertheless she admired him for his willingness to take chances, and for his devotion to literature, music and art, in which he so resembled his father, the Prince Consort.
He went to Oxford, where he developed friendships with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), John Ruskin, and Oscar Wilde. After finishing his education he became unofficial private secretary to the Queen, a move which dismayed some of her ministers as they feared his reactrionary influence over her. She was surprised and delighted when he married and became the father of two children, though distraught when he died after a fall at the early age of thirty.
This report prepared by John Van der Kiste