This article needs additional citations for verification .(May 2017)
|Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach|
|Queen consort of Prussia|
|Tenure||2 January 1861 – 9 March 1888|
|German Empress consort|
|Tenure||18 January 1871 - 9 March 1888|
|Born||30 September 1811|
|Died||7 January 1890 78) (aged|
Berlin, German Empire
(m. 1829;died 1888)
|Father||Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach|
|Mother||Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia|
Princess Augusta Marie Luise Katharina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (30 September 1811 – 7 January 1890) was the queen of Prussia and the first German empress as the consort of William I, German Emperor.
Augusta was the second daughter of Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Maria Pavlovna of Russia, a daughter of Paul I of Russia and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg.
While her father was an intellectually limited person, whose preferred reading up to the end of his life was fairy tales, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spoke of Augusta's mother Marie as "one of the best and most significant women of her time." Augusta received a comprehensive education, including drawing lessons from the court painter, Luise Seidler, as well as music lessons from the court bandmaster, Johann Nepomuk Hummel.
Augusta was only fifteen years old when, in 1826, she first met her future husband, Prince Wilhelm (William) who was more than fourteen years older than her. William thought the young Augusta had an "excellent personality," yet was less attractive than her older sister Marie, whom William's younger brother, Karl (Charles), had already married.[ citation needed ] Above all, it was William's father who pressed him to consider Augusta as a potential wife.[ citation needed ]
At this time, William was in love with the Polish Princess Elisa Radziwill. [ citation needed ]The Crown Prince at the time was William's elder brother, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (later King Frederick William IV). He and his wife Elisabeth Ludovika had been married three years and had no children. Although it was not anticipated that they would remain childless (which turned out to be the case), the court did expect that William, as heir presumptive to the throne, should make a dynastic marriage and produce further heirs.
King Frederick William III was indulgent of the relationship between his son William and Elisa, but the Prussian court had discovered that her ancestors had purchased their princely title from Emperor Maximilian I, and she was not deemed noble enough to marry a potential King of Prussia.Ironically, Crown Princess Elisabeth Ludovika, who as a Bavarian princess was considered to be of correct rank, counted both Bogusław Radziwiłł and Janusz Radziwiłł among her ancestors, albeit through female descent.
It was suggested by some courtiers that if Eliza Radziwill was adopted by a family of adequate rank, then a marriage with Prince William was possible. In 1824, the Prussians turned to the childless Alexander I of Russia to adopt Elisa, but the Russian Tsar declined. The second adoption plan by Elisa's uncle, Prince Augustus of Prussia, likewise failed because the responsible committee considered that adoption does not change "the blood." Another factor was the Mecklenburg relations of the deceased Queen Louise's influence in the German and Russian courts (she was not fond of Elisa's father).
Thus, in June 1826, William's father felt forced [ citation needed ] to demand the renunciation of a potential marriage to Elisa. Thus, William spent the next few months looking for a more suitable bride, but did not relinquish his emotional ties to Elisa. Eventually, William asked for Augusta's hand in marriage on 29 August (in writing and through the intervention of his father). Augusta agreed and on 25 October 1828, they were engaged.
Historian Karin Feuerstein-Prasser has pointed out on the basis of evaluations of the correspondence between both fiancées, what different expectations William had of both marriages: He wrote to his sister Charlotte, the wife of Nicholas I of Russia, with reference to Elisa Radziwill: "One can love only once in life, really" and confessed with regard to Augusta, that "the Princess is nice and clever, but she leaves me cold."[ citation needed ] Augusta liked her future husband and hoped for a happy marriage, in the end, it was an inwardly happy marriage despite outward appearances.[ citation needed ]
On 11 June 1829, William married his fiancée in the chapel of Schloss Charlottenburg.
The first weeks of marriage were harmonious; Augusta was taken favorably in the Prussian King's court, however, Augusta soon started to be bored with its military sobriety, and most courtly duties (which may have counteracted this boredom) were reserved to her sister-in-law, Crown Princess Elisabeth.
In a letter which William wrote on 22 January 1831 to his sister Charlotte, he has mixed feelings of his wife's "lack of femininity". Prince Friedrich (later Emperor Frederick III of Germany), was born later that year on 18 October 1831, three years after their marriage and Louise, was born on 3 December 1838, seven years later.
Augusta was very interested in politics. Like so many other liberally-minded people of the time, she was hopeful regarding the accession of Frederick William IV, her brother-in-law, who was regarded as a potentially modern and open king. However, he refused to grant a constitution to Prussia and led a far more conservative government than was expected from his liberal ideals during his years as the crown prince. A "united Landtag" was created by the King in reaction to the crop failures and hunger revolts of 1847, but was dissolved a few months later. Prince William was held responsible for the bloodshed of the March revolution in 1848, in Berlin and on the advice of the King, William fled to London, and Augusta and their two children withdrew to Potsdam.
In liberal circles, an idea was seriously discussed as to whether or not to force the King to abdicate, the Crown Prince renounce his rights to the throne, and instead have Augusta take up a regency for their son. Because the letters and diaries of that time were later destroyed by Augusta, it is not clear whether she seriously considered this option. After, in May 1848, 800 members of the German National Assembly met in the Frankfurter Paulskirche to discuss German unification and Prince William returned from London the following month. A year later, in 1849, he was appointed Governor-General of the Rhine Province and in the spring of 1850, he and Augusta took up residence in Koblenz.
Augusta enjoyed life in Koblenz and it was here that she could finally live out court life as she was accustomed to during her childhood in Weimar. Meanwhile, their son Friedrich (Frederick) studied nearby in Bonn and became the first Prussian prince to receive an academic education.
Koblenz was subsequently visited by many liberal-minded contemporaries, including the historian Max Dunker and legal professors August von Bethmann-Hollweg, Clemens Theodor Pertes and Alexander von Schleinitz. Critically, Augusta's tolerance towards Catholicism at Koblenz (and throughout her lifetime) was scorned in Berlin and was felt inappropriate for a Prussian Protestant princess.
In 1856 Augusta and William's only daughter, Princess Louise (then 17 years old), married Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden, and in 1858 their son Frederick married Princess Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Augusta saw this as a personal triumph and hoped her new daughter-in-law's liberal upbringing, particularly under Prince Albert, in a modern country like the United Kingdom would guide Frederick in the direction of a liberal monarchy at home.
In 1858, William became Regent after his brother was no longer able to lead his government due to suffering several strokes. He and Augusta traveled to the court at Berlin.
William soon dismissed the old ministry when he succeeded his childless brother as king in 1861 and appointed liberal ministers of his own, notably from his own court at Koblenz, including: Alexander von Schleinitz, who became Foreign Secretary; August von Bethmann, who became Minister of Culture; and Karl Anton of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen who became Minister President of Prussia. The conservative opponents saw this as the work of Augusta, but her political influence on William was rather small. This became evident a few months later when he dissolved parliament, which was not bending to his will. The King appointed Otto von Bismarck as the new Prussian Minister President. Augusta, now Queen, regarded Bismarck as her mortal enemy and Bismarck likewise despised Augusta for her (albeit small) influence on her husband.
Augusta was particularly horrified at Bismarck's foreign policy and his cause in the commencement of the Austro-Prussian War. At the same time, she became more and more estranged from the king and Bismarck began to comment negatively on the Queen in parliament; the Queen reacted by being rude to Bismarck's wife, Johanna.
The Queen soon began to suffer from her manic-depressive phases again and started making frequent trips to Baden-Baden, in search of a cure. At this time, the Prussian population was rejoicing in the victory at Königgrätz, but Augusta began mourning for the dead and injured. Augusta also became estranged from her daughter-in-law, Victoria who, contrary to custom, inherited the former Queen Elisabeth's jewelleries, which were supposed to be left to Augusta.
Augusta, who clearly abhorred war, founded the National Women's Association in 1864, which looked after wounded and ill soldiers and convened with Florence Nightingale for ideas. Several hospital foundations exist today from Augusta's initiative, including the German Society of Surgery. Augusta was an avid supporter of the Red Cross movement, and the Augusta Fund at the International Committee of the Red Cross still exists today.
The Austro-Prussian War soon ended in 1866 but four years later, the Franco-Prussian War started in 1870 and Augusta continued to hold Bismarck personally responsible. However, the aftermath of the war left William as German Emperor and Augusta as German Empress.
Augusta felt the Imperial Crown a personal defeat; she wanted the Prussian supremacy in Germany to succeed by "moral conquest" and not by bloodshed. Her opinion of the war was established by erecting an educational establishment in Potsdam in 1872, as "a home for the education of destitute daughters of German officers, military officials, priests and doctors from the field of honour as a result of the war of 1870-71."
Augusta buried her differences with Bismarck only after the war, as it seemed he was the only suitable man to support her beloved grandson, Wilhelm (William). However, the younger Wilhelm disliked Bismarck and soon forced him to resign during the first few years of his own reign.
Augusta had suffered from rheumatism for many years and in June 1881, she received heavy injuries from a fall which left her dependent on crutches and a wheelchair, but this did not hinder her from fulfilling her duties.
She also renewed her vows with her husband on his 90th birthday in 1887, but he died a year later. Only 99 days later, her son, who had succeeded to the throne as Frederick III, succumbed to cancer of the larynx. She did, however, see her beloved grandson Wilhelm become king and emperor that year, but died a year later on 7 January 1890, aged 78, at the Altes Palais Unter den Linden during the 1889–1890 flu pandemic. Augusta was buried in the Mausoleum im Schlosspark Charlottenburgbeside her husband.
Among others, the following were named for her:
|Ancestors of Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach|
William I or Wilhelm I was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and German Emperor from 18 January 1871 until his death in 1888. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he was the first head of state of a united Germany. He was de facto head of state of Prussia from 1858, when he became regent for his brother Frederick William IV, and he became king when his brother died three years later.
Frederick III was German Emperor and King of Prussia between March and June 1888, during the Year of the Three Emperors. Known informally as "Fritz", he was the only son of Emperor Wilhelm I and was raised in his family's tradition of military service. Although celebrated as a young man for his leadership and successes during the Second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars, he nevertheless professed a hatred of warfare and was praised by friends and enemies alike for his humane conduct. Following the unification of Germany in 1871 his father, then King of Prussia, became the German Emperor. Upon Wilhelm's death at the age of ninety on 9 March 1888, the thrones passed to Frederick, who had by then been German Crown Prince for seventeen years and Crown Prince of Prussia for twenty-seven years. Frederick was suffering from cancer of the larynx when he died, aged fifty-six, following unsuccessful medical treatments for his condition.
Victoria, Princess Royal was German Empress and Queen of Prussia as the wife of German Emperor Frederick III. She was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Albert, Prince Consort, and was created Princess Royal in 1841. She was the mother of Wilhelm II, German Emperor.
George V was the last King of Hanover, the only child and successor of King Ernest Augustus. George V's reign ended during the unification of Germany.
Chlodwig Carl Viktor, Prince of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Prince of Ratibor and Corvey, usually referred to as the Prince of Hohenlohe, was a German statesman, who served as Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Prussia from 1894 to 1900. Prior to his appointment as Chancellor, he had served in a number of other positions, including as Prime Minister of Bavaria (1866–1870), German Ambassador to Paris (1873–1880), Foreign Secretary (1880) and Imperial Lieutenant of Alsace-Lorraine (1885–1894). He was regarded as one of the most prominent liberal politicians of his time in Germany.
Prince Antoni Henryk Radziwiłł was a Polish and Prussian noble, aristocrat, musician, and politician. Initially a hereditary Duke of Nieśwież and Ołyka, as a scion of the Radziwiłł family he also held the honorific title of a Reichsfürst of the Holy Roman Empire. Between 1815 and 1831 he acted as Duke-Governor of the Grand Duchy of Posen, an autonomous province of the Kingdom of Prussia created out of Greater Polish lands annexed in the Partitions of Poland.
William I was King of Württemberg from 30 October 1816 until his death.
Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein was the last German empress and queen of Prussia by marriage to Wilhelm II, German Emperor.
The Order of the Black Eagle was the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia. The order was founded on 17 January 1701 by Elector Friedrich III of Brandenburg. In his Dutch exile after World War I, deposed Emperor Wilhelm II continued to award the order to his family. He made his second wife, Princess Hermine Reuss of Greiz, a Lady in the Order of the Black Eagle.
Princess Victoria Louise Adelaide Matilda Charlotte of Prussia was the only daughter and the last child of German Emperor Wilhelm II and Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. She was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria through her father. Her 1913 wedding to Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover was the largest gathering of reigning monarchs in Germany since German unification in 1871, and one of the last great social events of European royalty before the First World War began fourteen months later.
Princess Louise Marie Elisabeth of Prussia was Grand Duchess of Baden from 1856 to 1907 as the wife of Grand Duke Frederick I. Princess Louise was the second child and only daughter of Wilhelm I, German Emperor, and Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. She was the younger sister of German Emperor Frederick III ("Fritz") and aunt of Emperor Wilhelm II. Louise was seven years younger than Frederick and two years older than his wife, Victoria, Princess Royal.
Princess Friederike Amalia Wilhelmine Viktoria of Prussia was the second daughter of Frederick III, German Emperor and his wife Victoria, Princess Royal, eldest daughter of Queen Victoria. Born a member of the Prussian royal house of Hohenzollern, she became Princess Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe following her first marriage in 1890.
Princess Elisa Radziwiłł was a member of Polish nobility, of royal ancestry. She was the desired bride of Prince William of Prussia, who later became William I, German Emperor, but they were not allowed to marry.
Princess Marie Luise Alexandrina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was a princess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, by birth, and, by marriage, a princess of Prussia. She was the daughter of Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia.
Princess Frederica Dorothea Louise Philippine of Prussia was a member of the House of Hohenzollern. She was a niece of Frederick the Great, being the second daughter and third child of Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia by his wife Margravine Elisabeth Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt.
Prince Louis William Augustus of Baden was a Prussian general and politician. He was the father of Prince Maximilian of Baden, the last Minister President of the Kingdom of Prussia and last Chancellor of the German Empire. Wilhelm was a Prince of Baden, and a member of the House of Zähringen.
Princess Maria Maximilianovna of Leuchtenberg, also known as Princess Maria Romanovskya, Maria, Princess Romanovskaja, Maria Herzogin von Leuchtenberg or Marie Maximiliane was the eldest daughter of Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg and his wife Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia. She married Prince Wilhelm of Baden. The couple's son, Prince Maximilian of Baden, was Germany's last Imperial chancellor.
The Monarchy of Germany was the system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918.
Princess Charlotte of Prussia was Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen as the wife of Bernhard III, the duchy's last ruler. Born at the Neues Palais in Potsdam, she was the second child and eldest daughter of Prince Frederick of Prussia, a member of the House of Hohenzollern who became Crown Prince of Prussia in 1861 and German Emperor in 1888. Through her mother Victoria, Princess Royal, Charlotte was the eldest granddaughter of the British monarch Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Prince Antoni Wilhelm Radziwiłł was a member of the Polish-Lithuanian nobility and a General of the Artillery in the Prussian Army. He was the nephew of Princess Elisa Radziwiłł, the first love of their kinsman King William I of Prussia, who would later become the first German Emperor.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach .|
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Cadet branch of the House of WettinBorn: 30 September 1811 Died: 7 January 1890
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
| Queen consort of Prussia |
2 January 1861 – 9 March 1888
Victoria, Princess Royal
Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
as German Queen
| German Empress consort |
18 January 1871 – 9 March 1888