European Royalty: German States--Hesse-Darmstadt


Figure 1.--.

The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was established by George I, son of Philip the Magnanimous in 1567. It became a Grand Duchy in 1806. Although Hesse-Darmstadt also supported Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866), unlike Hesse-Kassel, it managed to maintain its independence when the Prussians proved victorious. The capital Darmstadt is south of Frankfurt, a few miles from the Rhinr River. Hesse-Darmstadt entered the German Empire in 1871. The family mairred into the British, Prussian, and Russian royal family and was given the Bulgarian Crown--although the prince receiving it was forced abdicate because he objected to democratic constitutions. Grand Duke Ernst-Ludwig (Ernst-Louis) of Hesse and by Rhine abdicated on November 9, 1918. The best known modern descendent is probably Lord Mountbatten.

Location

The capital Darmstadt is south of Frankfurt, a few miles from the Rhinr River.

Landgraves/Grand Dukes


George I

The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was established by George I, son of Philip the Magnanimous in 1567.

Other Landgraves

George I's successors as landgraves included: Louis V, George II, Louis VI, Ernest-Louis, Louis VIII, Louis IX, and Louis X.

Louis I (1790/1806-1830)

Louis I was born in 1753. He became Landgrave in 1790. The Grand Duchy was established in 1806 by Louis I (Landgrave Louis X). He married Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt in 1777, They had one child Louis who was born in 1777.

Louis II (1830-1848)

His father was Louis I of, Grand Duke of Hesse (1753- ). His mother was Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1761). He married Princess Wilhelmina of Baden in 1804. They had four children: Louis III (1806- ), Prince Charles (1809- ), Prince Alexander of the Rhine, (1823- ), and Princess Marie (1824- ). Marie married the Russian Tsarevitch (future Alexander II) in 1841. Prince Alexander contaracted a marganatic mairrage with one of hisbsister's ladies in waitng--Countess Julie von Hauke--Princess of Battenburg. They had four children. The eldest, Louis (1854- ), mairred Princess Victoria of Heese, the eledest daughter of Grand Duke Louis IV and Princess Alice. Another son. Henry (1858- ), mairred Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest daughter. The mairrage was criticised both in England and Prussia. (Both Emperess Augusta and Prince Wilhelm's wife Donna objected to the Countess' non-royal origins. Actually Donna herself had humble origins.) Another son, Alexander--Sandro (1857- ) was appointed soverign prince of Bulgaria in 1879. He had wanted to marry a Princess Victoria of Prussia, but her brother Prince Wilhelm objected, in part because of his non-royal orgins and in part because of the unstable Bulgarian throne. Prince Alexander was in fact forced to abdicate largely because he objected to Bulgaria's democratic constitution and attempted to institute arbitrary royal authority.

Louis III (1848-77)

Louis mairred twice, but had no children. He was succeded by the son of his older brother Charles.

Louis IV (1877-1892)

His father was Prince Charles von Hessen (1809- ). His mother was Princess Elizabeth of Prussia (1815- ). He mairred Princess Princess Alice Maud Mary Wettin (18??- ), the second daughter of Queen Victoria at Osborne in 1862. They had seven children. Louis and Alice has two well known children. Their oldest child was Princess Victoria, primarily because her grandson was Lord Mountbatten and great grandson was Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II. A younger dauhter, Alix, mairred Tsar Nicholas II. Several of the children, including Alix had tragic ends. Two children died tragic deaths at an early age. Louis himself remairred after Princess Alice's premature death, but did not have any additional children.

Ernst-Louis (1892-1918)

Ernst-Louis or Ernst-Ludwig in German was the son of was Grand Duke Louis IV von Hessen-Darmstadt (1837- ). His mother was Princess Alice Maud Mary Wettin (18??- ), the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Grand Duke Ernst-Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine acceded to the throne in 1892. He married twice and had four children. His first wife was Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Edinburg, a grand daughter of Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II. The children wore tunics and sailor suits. He, like the other German royals, was forced to abdicate on November 9, 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. He died 2 weeks before his younger son was due to marry. His widow and elder son were tragically killed in an air crash on their way to the postponed wedding.







Christopher Wagner








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Created: August 2, 2001
Last updated: May 30, 2002