In 1980, Princess Marie-Auguste legally adopted the businessman Hans Lichtenberg, who subsequently took the name Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt. According to von Anhalt, who thereafter proceeded to sell knighthoods and marriages related to his new station, he gave her $4,000 a month (German sources say 2000 Deutsche Mark a month) in financial support.
Princess Alice also emphasised the need to give to the poor and often took her daughters on visits to hospitals and charities.  The family was devastated in 1873 when Irene's haemophiliac younger brother Friedrich , nicknamed "Frittie", fell through an open window, struck his head on the balustrade and died hours later of a brain hemorrhage. 
La « grand-mère de l'Europe Par des mariages et des alliances politiques, certains descendants de la reine Victoria ont rejoint plusieurs cours royales européennes des XIXe et XXe siècles, surtout jusqu'à la Première Guerre mondiale, d'où le surnom de « grand-mère de l'Europe » donné à la reine , .