Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (1914–1987)

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Ernest Augustus IV
Prince of Hanover
Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
Head of the House of Hanover
Reign 30 January 1953 – 9 December 1987
Predecessor Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Successor Ernst August, Prince of Hanover
Born (1914-03-18)18 March 1914
Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany
Died 9 December 1987(1987-12-09) (aged 73)
Schulenburg, Pattensen, Lower Saxony, Germany
Burial 11 December 1987
Schloss Marienburg, Germany
Spouse Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Countess Monika of Solms-Laubach
Issue Princess Marie, Countess von Hochberg
Prince Ernst August
Prince Ludwig Rudolph
Princess Olga
Alexandra, Princess of Leiningen
Prince Heinrich
Full name
Ernest Augustus George William Christian Louis Francis Joseph Nicholas Oscar
German: Ernst August Georg Wilhelm Christian Ludwig Franz Joseph Nikolaus Oskar
House Hanover
Father Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Mother Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia

Ernst August, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, Prince of Hanover[1] (German: Ernst August Prinz von Hannover; 18 March 1914 – 9 December 1987) was head of the House of Hanover from 1953 until his death. He was born at Braunschweig, Germany, the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of Emperor Wilhelm II, Ernest Augustus's third cousin in descent from George III of the United Kingdom. Ernst August's parents were, therefore, third cousins, once removed, from his birth, he was the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. He was also, shortly after birth in 1914, made a British prince by King George V of the United Kingdom,[2] and was heir to the titles Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Earl of Armagh which were suspended under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.


The christening of Ernst August in the summer of 1914 was the last great gathering of European monarchs before the start of World War I, he had an illustrious list of godparents, including the German Emperor and Empress, his maternal grandparents; the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, his paternal grandparents; George V of the United Kingdom, Franz Joseph of Austria, Nicholas II of Russia, Ludwig III of Bavaria, Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, Prince Oskar of Prussia, Prince Maximilian of Baden and The 1st Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment.

He ceased being heir to the duchy of Brunswick at the age of four, when his father abdicated in 1918, after his father's death in 1953, he became head of the House of Hanover.

During World War II, he fought at the Russian Front as Oberleutnant in the staff of Generaloberst Erich Hoepner, he was seriously injured near Charkov in spring 1943. After the 20 July plot in 1944, he was imprisoned for a few weeks by the Gestapo in Berlin.

He was also heir to the British titles of Prince of Great Britain and Ireland, recognised ad personam for Ernst August's father as well as for him and his siblings by King George V of the United Kingdom on 17 June 1914[3], Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh, which however were all suspended under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917. In addition to being a German, he also held British nationality, after successfully claiming it under the Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 in the case of Attorney-General v. Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover.[4] Nonetheless, a problem arose as foreign royal titles can't be entered into a British passport. Therefore, the titles Prince of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg could not be mentioned there, nor could the British titles due to the Titles Deprivation Act of 1917. The name which was finally entered into his British documents, was thus Ernest Augustus Guelph, with the addition of His Royal Highness. Guelph is thus also the British last name of his siblings and children, all styled Royal Highnesses in the United Kingdom.[5]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 5 September 1951, Ernest Augustus married Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1925–1980).[6] The wedding was attended by many important royal figures, including his sister Queen Frederica and her husband King Paul I of Greece, and the heads of the houses of Saxony, Hesse, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, and Baden,[6] the wedding was followed with a reception at Herrenhausen, the only part of Hanover's former palace still intact (the rest had been burned down during World War II).[6]

His children by his first wife are:[1][7]

Princess Ortrud died in 1980.

Ernest Augustus married again in 1981, Countess Monika of Solms-Laubach (1929–2015)[1], daughter of Georg, 9th Count of Solms-Laubach, and Johanna, princess of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich.

He died at Schulenburg, Pattensen, Lower Saxony, Germany, aged 73.

In popular culture[edit]

He was portrayed by Daniel Betts in the first season of the Netflix series The Crown.[8]

Titles and styles[edit]

Duchy of Brunswick

  • 18 March 1914 - 8 November 1918: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
  • in pretense 8 November 1918 - 30 January 1953: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
  • in pretense 30 January 1953 - 9 December 1987: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brunswick

Kingdom of Hanover

  • 18 March 1914 - 30 January 1953: His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover
  • 30 January 1953 - 9 December 1987: His Royal Highness The Prince of Hanover
    • in pretense: His Majesty The King of Hanover

United Kingdom

  • 18 March 1914 - 28 March 1919: His Highness Prince Ernest Augustus of Cumberland



  1. ^ a b c Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII. "Haus Hannover". C.A. Starke Verlag, 2007, pp. 22–26. ISBN 978-3-7980-0841-0.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Velde, François Styles of the members of the British royal family:Documents, Children of the duke and duchess of Brunswick (June 17, 1914)
  4. ^ British naturalisation; legal cases online, accessed Jan 2009
  5. ^ Interview of 15 March 2014 by Prince Ernst August of Hanover (born 1983) with Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
  6. ^ a b c "Prince Ernst of Hanover Married", The Irish Times, 5 September 1951 
  7. ^ Ernest Augustus also has an illegitimate son, Christian Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden, who was born in 1943 by Maria Anna, née Baroness von Humboldt-Dachroeden (1916–2003), who shortly prior to giving birth was divorced from Ernest Augustus's first cousin Prince Hubertus of Prussia. Ernest Augustus however did not marry her because his parents would not have approved and the marriage would have made his younger brother Prince George William heir to the headship of the House of Hanover. See: Blogspot: If circumstances had been different.... See also:, 17 August 2017
  8. ^ IMDB - The Crown, accessed May 2017

External links[edit]

Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (1914–1987)
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 18 March 1914 Died: 9 December 1987
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
King of Hanover
30 January 1953 – 9 December 1987
Reason for succession failure:
Hanover annexed by Prussia in 1866
Succeeded by
Ernest Augustus, Prince of Hanover
Duke of Brunswick
30 January 1953 – 9 December 1987
Reason for succession failure:
Duchy abolished in 1918