Princess Frederica of Hanover

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Princess Frederica
Baroness von Pawel-Rammingen
Princess Frederica of Hanover.jpg
Born9 January 1848
Died16 October 1926(1926-10-16) (aged 78)
Biarritz, France
Burial18 November 1926
Spouse Baron Alfons von Pawel-Rammingen
IssueBaroness Victoria
Full name
Frederica Sophie Marie Henrietta Amelia Theresa
German: Friederike Sophie Marie Henriette Amelie Therese
House Hanover
Father George V of Hanover
Mother Marie of Saxe-Altenburg

Princess Frederica of Hanover, (9 January 1848 16 October 1926) was a member of the House of Hanover. After her marriage, she lived mostly in England, where she was a prominent member of society.

House of Hanover German royal dynasty

The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.


Frederica of Hanover circa 1915 Hanover 5375080325 38936c1c72 o.jpg
Frederica of Hanover circa 1915

Early life

Frederica was born 9 January 1848 in Hanover, the elder daughter of the Hereditary Prince of Hanover (later King George V of Hanover) and of his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. She held the title of Princess with the style Her Royal Highness in Hanover. In the United Kingdom, she held the title of Princess with the style Her Highness as a male-line great-granddaughter of King George III. She was known as "Lily" within her family.

Hanover Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Hanover or Hannover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,061 (2017) inhabitants make it the thirteenth-largest city of Germany, as well as the third-largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen. The city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, and is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg, Dortmund, Essen, and Bremen.

George V of Hanover King of Hanover

George V was the last king of Hanover, the only child and successor of King Ernest Augustus. George V's reign was ended during the Unification of Germany.

Marie of Saxe-Altenburg British princess

Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, VA was Queen of Hanover and the consort of George V, a grandson of George III of the United Kingdom and Queen Charlotte.

In January 1866, the Prime Minister of Prussia Otto von Bismarck began negotiations with Hanover, represented by Count Platen-Hallermund, regarding the possible marriage of Frederica to Prince Albrecht of Prussia. [1] These plans came to nothing as tensions grew between Hanover and Prussia finally resulting in the Austro-Prussian War (14 June – 23 August 1866).

Otto von Bismarck 19th-century German statesman and Chancellor

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, known as Otto von Bismarck, was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890 and was the first Chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890.

Austro-Prussian War conflict

The Austro-Prussian War or Seven Weeks' War was a war fought in 1866 between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia, with each also being aided by various allies within the German Confederation. Prussia had also allied with the Kingdom of Italy, linking this conflict to the Third Independence War of Italian unification. The Austro-Prussian War was part of the wider rivalry between Austria and Prussia, and resulted in Prussian dominance over the German states.

In 1866, Frederica's father was deposed as King of Hanover. Eventually the family settled at Gmunden in Austria, where they owned Schloss Cumberland (named for the British Ducal title held by Frederica's father). Frederica visited England with her family in May 1876, [2] and again, after her father's death, in June 1878. [3]

Gmunden Place in Upper Austria, Austria

Gmunden is a town in Upper Austria, Austria in the district of Gmunden. It has 13,204 inhabitants. It is much frequented as a health and summer resort, and has a variety of lake, brine, vegetable and pine-cone baths, a hydropathic establishment, inhalation chambers, whey cure, etc. It is also an important centre of the salt industry in Salzkammergut.

Austria Federal republic in Central Europe

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a country in Central Europe comprising 9 federated states. Its capital, largest city and one of nine states is Vienna. Austria has an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi), a population of nearly 9 million people and a nominal GDP of $477 billion. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1,640 ft), and its highest point is 3,798 m (12,461 ft). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other regional languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.


Frederica was courted by her second cousin, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (with whom she later became lifelong friends and confidantes), [4] and by Alexander, Prince of Orange. Frederica, however, was in love with Baron Alfons von Pawel-Rammingen (1843–1932), the son of a government official of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Alfons had served as an equerry to Frederica's father. [5] Alfons was naturalised as a British subject on 19 March 1880 and, on 24 April 1880, he and Frederica were married. [6] The wedding took place in Windsor Castle presided by the Bishop of Oxford. [7] Alfons' sister Anna was married to Baron Oswald von Coburg, the son of an illegitimate son of Prince Ludwig Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (third son of Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld).

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany British prince

Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was the eighth child and youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Leopold was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow. He had haemophilia, which led to his death at the age of 30.

Alexander, Prince of Orange Prince of Orange

Alexander, Prince of Orange, was heir apparent to his father King William III of the Netherlands from 11 June 1879 until his death.

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha collective name for the duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in Germany

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Bavaria and Thuringia in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918. In November 1918, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was forced to abdicate. Saxe (Gotha) was subsequently merged into Thuringia whereas Coburg merged into Bavaria.

Alfred Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, wrote a quatrain in honour of Frederica's marriage, focusing on her relationship to her blind father, who had died two years before: [8]

O you that were eyes and light to the King till he past away
From the darkness of life —
He saw not his daughter — he blest her: the blind King sees you to-day,
He blesses the wife.

After their marriage Frederica and Alfons lived in an apartment at Hampton Court Palace. [9] The apartment was in the south-west wing of the west front of the palace in the suite formerly called the "Lady Housekeeper's Lodgings". Frederica and Alfons had one daughter who was born and died at Hampton Court Palace:

Frederica and Alfons were frequent guests at Windsor Castle and at Osborne House.

Charitable works

Frederica was involved with numerous charitable activities.

In August 1881 she established the Convalescent Home, an institution for poor women who have given birth but have been discharged from maternity hospitals. [13] [14] Because her father had been blind, she was a benefactress of the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind at Upper Norwood. [15]

Frederica was interested in children & became patron of the Church Extension Association, then based in Kilburn, which wished to set up schools in Willesden, then a new suburb of London. On 24 July 1889 she opened Princess Frederica School in Kensal Rise. [16]

She was also patron of the Training College for Teachers of the Deaf at Ealing, [17] of the Strolling Players' Amateur Orchestral Society, [18] of the Hampton Court and Dittons Regatta [19] of the Home for Foreign Governesses, [20] of the Mission to the French in London, [21] and of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. [22] She was President of the Middlesex Branch of SSFA (Soldiers'& Sailors' Families Association).

Later life and death

Frederica and Alfons gave up their apartment at Hampton Court Palace in 1898. [23] While they continued to live part of the year in England, they subsequently spent more time in Biarritz in France where they had previously vacationed. They owned Villa Mouriscot there. [24]

Frederica died in 1926 at Biarritz. She was buried in the Royal Vault in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. [25] In 1927 a window in her memory was unveiled in the English Church in Biarritz. [26]


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  1. Otto von Bismarck, Bismarck, the Man and the Statesman (New York: Harper, 1898), II, 26.
  2. "Court Circular", The Times ( 22 May 1876): 11.
  3. "Court Circular", The Times ( 24 June 1878): 9.
  4. Zeepvat, Charlotte (1998). Prince Leopold: The Untold Story of Queen Victoria's Youngest Son. Sutton Publishing. ISBN   0-7509-3791-2.
  5. Sarah Tytler, Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen (Toronto: G. Virtue, 1885), II, 224.
  6. Melville Ruvigny, The Nobilities of Europe (London: Melville, 1909), 229.
  7. "The Royal Marriage", The Times ( 24 April 1880): 11.
  8. Included in Alfred Tennyson, Ballads and Other Poems (London: C.K. Paul, 1880), 182.
  9. Ernest Law, The History of Hampton Court Palace (London: G. Bell, 1903), III, 382-384 and 445-446.
  10. "News in Brief", The Times ( 29 March 1881): 10.
  11. "Court Circular", The Times ( 1 April 1881): 10.
  12. "Royal Funeral at Windsor", The Times ( 1 April 1881): 10.
  13. "Hampton Court Palace", The Times ( 8 August 1881): 8.
  14. Law, III, 383-384.
  15. "Royal Normal College for the Blind", The Times ( 20 December 1881): 11.
  16. "125 years". Princess Frederica School Brent. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.
  17. The Times ( 2 June 1884): 12.
  18. The Times ( 15 October 1887): 1.
  19. G. Dear One Hundred Years of Skiff Racing British Rowing Almanac 2001
  20. The Times ( 31 January 1888): 14.
  21. The Times ( 11 February 1891): 9.
  22. The Times ( 24 June 1895): 8.
  23. Royal Palaces of England, edited by R.S. Rait (London: Constable, 1911), 203.
  24. "Baron Rammingen", The Times ( 22 November 1932): 14.
  25. "Court Circular", The Times ( 19 November 1926): 17.
  26. "Court News", The Times ( 28 July 1927): 15.