Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse

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Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Duchess consort of Saxe-Lauenburg
Eleonore, Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg.jpg
Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Born(1639-01-03)3 January 1639
Château d'Olbreuse, Deux-Sèvres
Died5 February 1722(1722-02-05) (aged 83)
Celle Castle, Celle
Spouse George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Issue Sophia Dorothea, Electoral Princess of Hanover
FatherAlexandre Desmier, Seigneur of Olbreuse
MotherJacquette Poussard du Bas-Vandré et de Saint-Marc

Éléonore Marie Desmier d'Olbreuse (3 January 1639 5 February 1722) was the wife of George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She was Countess of Wilhelmsburg from 1674 and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1676. She was the mother of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who was the wife of George I. Thus she is the maternal grandmother of George II

George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Duke of Brunswick-Calenberg and Brunswick-Lüneberg

George William German: Georg Wilhelm was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He ruled first over the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy, then over the Lüneburg subdivision. In 1689, he occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg and passed it on to his successors. George William was the father of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, wife of George I of Great Britain.

Sophia Dorothea of Celle wife of George I of Great Britain

Sophia Dorothea of Celle was the repudiated wife of future King George I of Great Britain, and mother of George II. The union with her first cousin was an arranged marriage of state, instigated by the machinations of his mother, Sophia of Hanover. She is best remembered for her alleged affair with Philip Christoph von Königsmarck that led to her being imprisoned in the Castle of Ahlden for the last thirty years of her life.

George I of Great Britain King of Great Britain, Elector of Hanover

George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727.



Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse was born at the Castle of Olbreuse in Deux-Sèvres near Niort, France into a Huguenot family of lower nobility. Her parents were Alexandre Desmier d'Olbreuse and Jacquette Poussard du Bas-Vandré et de Saint-Marc. She went to the royal court in Paris as a lady-in-waiting in the service of Marie de la Tour d'Auvergne, Duchess of Thouars, whose son had married Emily of Hesse-Kassel, daughter of William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, in 1648.

Castle of Olbreuse

The Castle of Olbreuse is situated in Usseau, Deux-Sèvres, in western France. It is thought to have been built in the eleventh century but documentation for this supposition is lacking.

Deux-Sèvres Department of France

Deux-Sèvres is a French department. Deux-Sèvres literally means "two Sèvres": the Sèvre Nantaise and the Sèvre Niortaise are two rivers which have their sources in the department.

Niort Prefecture and commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Niort is a commune in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France.

In the winter of 1664 Éléonore accompanied the Duchess of Thouars who visited her son in Kassel. There the beautiful Éléonore met the unmarried George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who immediately fell in love with her.

Éléonore became his mistress and received the title Lady of Harburg. In 1666 their only child, Sophie Dorothea, was born. In 1674 the child was legitimised and Éléonore became the Duchess of Wilhelmsburg. Two years later the couple could finally marry. It was a happy marriage.

Their daughter was married in 1682 to George Louis, the son of her father's brother, Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, for dynastical reasons. The marriage was a disaster. Finally Sophia Dorothea was imprisoned by her husband in the Castle of Ahlden for the rest of her life. During the last years of her life, Éléonore cared for her daughter and tried to obtain her release, without success.

Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse died on 5 February 1722, nearly blind, in Celle Castle, Celle. She mentioned 342 persons in her will. She was buried in the Stadtkirche St. Marien (town church of St. Mary) in Celle.

Celle Castle château

Celle Castle or, less commonly, Celle Palace, in the German town of Celle in Lower Saxony was one of the residences of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg. This quadrangular building is the largest castle in the southern Lüneburg Heath region.


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German nobility
Preceded by
Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Served alongside: 1) Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate and 2) Sophia of Hannover
Title next held by
Caroline of Ansbach
Title last held by
Hedwig of the Palatinate-Sulzbach
Duchess consort of Saxe-Lauenburg