If I understand correctly, once a high peerage becomes extinct (because the male line is extinct), it reverts to the crown. This presumably is what would have happened to the dukedom of Fife, had Alexandra and Maud, between them, failed to produce a single male heir to ensure the succession. As it was, it became a moot point, since both daughters of Princess Louise married; although each produced only one child, the said child was male.
Maud, however, didn't give birth to her only child until six years after marriage (she was 30 in 1923, an age when a woman is past the prime years of fertility). One presumes that everybody (especially her mother, husband, and father-in-law) was thrilled when in 1929, at the age of 36, she was delivered of a male heir -- important not only for the Fife succession but also, the earldom of Southesk.
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