Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1800–1831)
Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was the wife of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the mother of Duke Ernst II and Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. She was the paternal grandmother of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom, she is the paternal great-great-great grandmother of Elizabeth II. Princess Louise was the only daughter of Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and his first wife Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, daughter of Frederick Francis I, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. On 31 July 1817 in Gotha, sixteen-year-old Louise married her thirty-three-year-old kinsman Ernst III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld after he failed to win the hand of a Russian grand duchess. Louise was considered "young and beautiful", they had two children: Ernst, who inherited his father's lands and titles, Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. The marriage was unhappy because of Ernst's infidelities and the couple separated in 1824.
St. Wendel, in the Principality of Lichtenberg, was assigned as her new residence, Louise was forced to leave her two sons behind. Biographer Lytton Strachey noted in 1921: "The ducal court was not noted for the strictness of its morals. There were scandals: one of the Court Chamberlains, a charming and cultivated man of Jewish extraction, was talked of. On 31 March 1826 their marriage was dissolved. Seven months on 18 October 1826, Louise secretly married in St. Wendel her former lover, the Baron Alexander von Hanstein. In her previous marriage, she had taken great interest in the social life of the principality and was revered as its Landesmutter; this happy life ended in February 1831, when her secret marriage to von Hanstein was discovered and she lost her children permanently. Louise died of cancer on 30 August 1831. Years after her death, Queen Victoria described Louise in an 1864 memorandum: "The princess is described as having been handsome, though small. Louise was reinterred from her initial burial site at Morizkirche to the ducal mausoleum at Friedhof am Glockenberg after it had been completed in 1859.
Grey, Hon. Charles; the Early Years of His Royal Highness The Prince Consort. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers. Weintraub, Stanley. Uncrowned King: The Life of Prince Albert. London: John Murray Inc. ISBN 0-7195-5756-9. Media related to Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg at Wikimedia Commons
Princess Wilhelmine of Baden
Princess Wilhelmine of Baden, was by birth Princess of Baden and by marriage Grand Duchess consort of Hesse and the Rhine. She was the youngest daughter of Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden and Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. In Karlsruhe on 19 June 1804, Wilhelmine married the Hereditary Prince Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt; the union proved to be unhappy due to Louis' affairs, they separated after the birth of their three older children. In 1820 she acquired the Heiligenberg Castle, where she met her chamberlain Baron August von Senarclens de Grancy, with whom she maintained a longtime affair. In 1830, following her father-in-law's death, she became Grand Duchess consort of Hesse and the Rhine. Prince Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt. Stillborn son. Prince Karl Wilhelm Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt. Princess Amalia Elisabeth Luise Karoline Friederike Wilhelmine of Hesse-Darmstadt. Stillborn daughter. Prince Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil of Hesse-Darmstadt Princess Maximiliane Wilhelmine Auguste Sophie Marie of Hesse-Darmstadt.
Her descendants included both Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, as well as Lord Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 21 September 1788 – 19 June 1804: Her Serene Highness Princess Wilhelmine of Baden 19 June 1804 – 13 August 1806: Her Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt 13 August 1806 – 6 April 1830: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine 6 April 1830 – 27 January 1836: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine Egon Caesar Conte Corti: Unter Zaren und gekrönten Frauen. Schicksal und Tragik europäischer Kaiserreiche an Hand von Briefen, Tagebüchern und Geheimdokumenten der Zarin Marie von Rußland und des Prinzen Alexander von Hessen. Editorial Pustet, 1949. Wilhelmine Louise, princess of Baden in: geneall.net
Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1761–1829)
Louise Henriette Karoline of Hesse-Darmstadt, was the first Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine by marriage. Louise was a daughter of Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt from his marriage to Countess Maria Louise Albertine of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Falkenburg, daughter of Count Christian Karl Reinhard of Leiningen-Dachsburg-Falkenburg-Heidesheim; the princess was in 1770 in the entourage of Marie Antoinette, as they traveled to France for her marriage. Louise exchanged letters with the French queen until 1792. Louise married on 19 February 1777 in Darmstadt, her cousin the hereditary prince Louis I of Hesse-Darmstadt, her husband ruled Hesse-Darmstadt from 1790 as Landgrave Louis X and from 1806 as Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Hesse and the Rhine. Louise spent the summer months since 1783 in the State Park Fürstenlager, died there in 1829. Here provided charity to the population Auerbach; the Grand Duchess was revered by the nation. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stayed at her court and Friedrich Schiller read from his Don Carlos in her salon.
It was said that Napoleon Bonaparte promised the beautiful Louise, whom he believed to be one of the cleverest women of her time, that he would give her a crown. Luisenstraße and Luisenplatz in Darmstadt are named after Louise. From her marriage with Louis, Louise had the following children: Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Emil of Hesse-Darmstadt Gustav of Hesse-Darmstadt Philip Alexander Ferdinand Walther: Darmstadt, what was like and what it has become, p. 240 Carl Friedrich Günther: Anecdotes, character descriptions and memoirs from the Hessian area. P. 172
Frederick William II of Prussia
Frederick William II was King of Prussia from 1786 until his death. He was in personal union the Prince-elector of Brandenburg and sovereign prince of the Canton of Neuchâtel. Pleasure-loving and indolent, he is seen as the antithesis to his predecessor, Frederick II. Under his reign, Prussia was weakened internally and externally, he failed to deal adequately with the challenges to the existing order posed by the French Revolution, his religious policies were directed against the Enlightenment and aimed at restoring a traditional Protestantism. However, he was a patron of the arts and responsible for the construction of some notable buildings, among them the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Frederick William was born in Berlin, the son of Prince Augustus William of Prussia and Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, his mother's elder sister, was the wife of Augustus William's brother King Frederick II. Frederick William became heir-presumptive to the throne of Prussia on his father's death in 1758, since Frederick II had no children.
The boy was of an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition, averse to sustained effort of any kind, sensual by nature. His marriage with Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Crown Princess of Prussia, daughter of Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, contracted 14 July 1765 in Charlottenburg, was dissolved in 1769, he married Frederica Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt, daughter of Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt on 14 July 1769 in Charlottenburg. Although he had seven children by his second wife, he had an ongoing relationship with his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke, a woman of strong intellect and much ambition, had five children by her—the first when she was still in her teens. Frederick William, before the corpulence of his middle age, was a man of singularly handsome presence, not without mental qualities of a high order, he was a talented cellist. But an artistic temperament was hardly what was required of a king of Prussia on the eve of the French Revolution, Frederick the Great, who had employed him in various services expressed his misgivings as to the character of the prince and his surroundings.
For his part, Frederick William, who had never been properly introduced to diplomacy and the business of rulership, resented his uncle for not taking him seriously. The misgivings of Frederick II appear justified in retrospect. Frederick William′s accession to the throne was, followed by a series of measures for lightening the burdens of the people, reforming the oppressive French system of tax-collecting introduced by Frederick, encouraging trade by the diminution of customs dues and the making of roads and canals; this gave the new king much popularity with the masses. Frederick William terminated his predecessor's state monopolies for coffee and tobacco and the sugar monopoly. However, under his reign the codification known as Allgemeines Preußisches Landrecht, initiated by Frederick II, continued and was completed in 1794. In 1781 Frederick William prince of Prussia, inclined to mysticism, had joined the Rosicrucians, had fallen under the influence of Johann Christoph von Wöllner and Johann Rudolf von Bischoffwerder.
On 26 August 1786 Wöllner was appointed privy councillor for finance, on 2 October 1786 was ennobled. Though not in name, he in fact became prime minister. Bischoffswerder, still a simple major, was called into the king′s counsels; the opposition to Wöllner was, indeed, at the outset strong enough to prevent his being entrusted with the department of religion. From this position Wöllner pursued long lasting reforms concerning religion in the Prussian state; the king proved eager to aid Wöllner's crusade. On 9 July 1788 a religious edict was issued forbidding Evangelical ministers from teaching anything not contained in the letter of their official books, proclaimed the necessity of protecting the Christian religion against the "enlighteners", placed educational establishments under the supervision of the orthodox clergy. On 18 December 1788 a new censorship law was issued to secure the orthodoxy of all published books; this forced major Berlin journals like Christoph Friedrich Nicolai's Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek and Johann Erich Biester's Berliner Monatsschrift to publish only outside the Prussian borders.
Moreover, people like Immanuel Kant were forbidden to speak in public on the topic of religion. In 1791, a Protestant commission was established at Berlin to watch over all ecclesiastical and scholastic appointments. Although Wöllner's religious edict had many critics, it was an important measure that, in fact, proved an important stabilizing factor for the Prussian state. Aimed at protecting the multi-con
Princess Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt
Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt was Landgravine consort of Hesse-Homburg by marriage to Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg. She was Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt and his wife Caroline, she married Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg on 27 September 1768. The marriage was contracted for diplomatic and political reasons as the symbol of an inheritance dispute between their respective families. Caroline and Frederick V produced many children but their marriage never developed into a personal relationship, they lived separated lives. Caroline spent time in the famed little villa, given to her use in the forest near Homburg. Frederick VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, married Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom Louis William, married Princess Augusta of Nassau-Usingen, divorced in 1805 Caroline, married Prince Louis Frederick II of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Louise Ulrike, married Prince Charles Günther of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Amalie, married Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau Auguste, married Frederick Louis, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Philip, married Rosalie Antonie, Countess of Naumburg, Baroness Schimmelpfennig von der Oye, née Pototschnig Gustav, married Princess Louise of Anhalt-Dessau Ferdinand, the last Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg Maria Anna married Prince Wilhelm of Prussia Leopold, fell in the Battle of Großgörschen
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth