Skip to main content

Royal Profile: Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, Queen of Hanover

Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg was Queen Consort of Hanover from the time of her husband’s ascension in 1851 until they were expelled from Hanover in 1866.

Queen Marie of Hanover and her daughter Mary by  Kaulbach
Marie was born on April 14, 1818 in Hildberghausen and was christened Alexandrina Mary Wilhelmina Catherine Charlotte Theresa Henrietta Louise Pauline Elizabeth Frederica Georgina Marie. Her father was Joseph, then Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Hildburghausen, while her mother was Duchess Amelia of Württemberg, daughter of Duke Louis of Wurttemberg, a younger son of Friedrich II Eugene, reigning Duke of Wurttemberg.

Marie’s father was the second son of Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hilberghausen, but because his elder brother, Joseph George, died a month after his birth in 1786, he became the heir to the duchy. In 1826, after the transfer of territories among the different branches of the Ernestine Wettins, Marie’s family moved to Altenburg. His father thenceforward took the title Duke of Alternburg. However, because he did not have any male offspring, the title passed to his younger brother, Georg, upon his abdication in 1848 following the civil revolution.

George V and Marie of Hanover and their children.

On February 18, 1843, Marie married George, Crown Prince of Hanover, in Hanover.  The only child and heir of Ernest Augustus I, George was not only a German prince, but also a member of the British Royal Family. Ernest Augustus was one of the sons of King George III and held the title Duke of Cumberland in the United Kingdom. In 1828, an accident and an illness caused George to lose one of his eyesight. In 1833, he became totally blind. With the death of King William IV, the British throne passed on to Queen Victoria, but since Hanover adheres to the Salic Law, the crown passed on to Ernest Augustus.  

With the king’s death in 1851, George and Marie reigned as the king and queen.  George’s reign was an autocratic one, following the steps of his father and influenced by his maternal uncle, Prince Charles Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who then held considerable influence at the Prussian court and he often clashed with the Hanoverian legislature.

George was a staunch ally of Austria in the Diet of the German Confederation. At the eve of the Austro-Prussian War, the Prussian government demanded that Hanover send its truoops to Prussia or face war. From the start, George knew that his army wouldn’t win an armed conflict with Prussia, but protective of his throne, he refused to give in to Prussia’s demand and, instead, supported the Austrian camp against the wishes of the parliament. Prussia easily occupied Hanover culminating to its surrender on June 29, 1866. The Hanoverian throne was annexed to that of Prussia’s and the royal family fled to Austria. George, however, neither abdicated nor acknowledged Prussia's actions. While in Gmunden, Austria, he ceaselessly appealed for the European great powers to help him restore his throne, but it ended to no avail. George V personally maintained the Guelphic Legion, a paramilitary unit, from the time that he was deposed until his death on June 12, 1878.

Queen Marie of Hanover in her later years.

Queen Marie survived the king by twenty-eight years, dying on January 9, 1907, at Gmunden, where she was also buried. Her eldest son, Ernest Augustus, was deprived from succeeding the Duchy of Brunswick upon the death of his cousin, William, in 1884. However, his claim was ignored, and it was only until 1913 when his son, Ernst August, who married the Kaiser’s daughter, did the conflict ended. Ernest Augustus had renounced his claim to the Duchy of Brunswick in favor of the young Ernst August.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth about “Princess Qajar,” the Royal Lady with the Mustache

A Persian princess viral news websites baptized as Princess Qajar has lately become a stuff of legends. She was presented as a royal lady with a facial hair that made her so attracted that 13 men claimed their own lives because she couldn’t love them. The truth is, there was no “Princess Qajar,” only the Qajar dynasty  that ruled over Persia for more than a century.

The only fact about this historical meme is that at that time, it was fashionable for Persian women to wear mustache. “Many Persian-language sources, as well as photographs, from the nineteenth century confirm that Qajar women sported a thin mustache, or more accurately a soft down, as a sign of beauty,” explained Dr. Afsaneh Najmabadi.
The memes and fake stories circulating online refer not to a single princess, but actually to two female dynasts: Princess Fatemah Khanum"'Esmat al-Dowleh" and her half-sister, Princess Zahra Khanom Tadj es-Saltaneh. Their father, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, ruled Persia from 1…

Queen Mary and the Delhi Durbar Tiara

In 1911, King George V and Queen Mary were to be proclaimed Emperor and Empress of India. That was the first and only time that a British sovereign attended the durbar, which was hailed as the largest gathering of princes, noblemen and landed gentry in India to pay homage to their sovereigns. The King and Queen should never be outdone by the petty rulers. They were sure these local princes would come garbed with all the gold and diamonds from their treasure chest. It was decided that they should showcase the crown jewels with them. But British law prohibits anyone from taking these treasures outside Great Britain. A new set of coronation regalia  had to be made! Thus, the India Office commissioned Garrard and Co. to make the Imperial Crown of India for King George V. It has eight arches, with 6170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered with sapphires, emeralds and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap all weighing 34.05 ounces (965 g).

However, Queen Mary was without the empress' …

Queen Victoria and Her Conflict with Lord Palmerston

Moving on with our Queen Victoria series, today we will discuss about Queen Victoria’s “cold” treatment of one of her ministers, Lord Palmerston. We shall see how this long-running conflict began.
The defeat of the Tories in the 1846 General Elections saw the dismissal of Sir Robert Peel from the office. With the Whigs on the helm of the government, Henry John Temple, the Viscount Palmerston was appointed Minister of the Foreign Office. His ascension to that post ushered in the greatest struggle between the crown and its ministers since the day when George III had dismissed the coalition government of Fox and North.
Lord Palmerston’s long tenure in public office made up almost untouchable Palmerston’s appointment to the Foreign Office came shortly after he celebrated his 60th birthday, a time when he could proudly look back on his achievements and career in the government that began in 1809, ten years before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were born. Always confident in his wit and dip…