The Name Louis and the British Royal Family: Conclusion


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For the final and largest connection to the name Louis to the British Royal Family we turn to the Mountbatten family, also known as the House of Battenberg, the maternal side of the Duke of Edinburgh’s family which originates in the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt in the Holy Roman Empire. Here is a little background on the German Hessian dynasty.

IMG_3884 Royal Standard of the Grand Dukes of Hesse and By Rhine

The House of Hesse is a European dynasty, directly descended from the House of Reginar that were a family of magnates in Lower Lotharingia during the Carolingianand Ottonian period. They were the ancestors of the House of Brabant, Landgraves and later Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Lothier and Dukes of Limburg. The Reginarid Brabant dynasty ended in 1355, leaving its duchies to the House of Luxembourg which in turn left them to the House of Valois-Burgundy in 1383. Junior branches of the male line include the medieval male line of the English House of Percy, Earls of Northumberland, and the German House of Hesse which ruled Hesse from 1264 until 1918 and still exist. Louis, or the German derivation, Ludwig, was a frequently used name within the dynasty.

In the early Middle Ages the territory of Hessengau, named after the Germanic Chatti tribes, formed the northern part of the German stem duchy of Franconia, along with the adjacent Lahngau. Upon the extinction of the ducal Conradines, these Rhenish Franconian counties were gradually acquired by Landgrave Louis I of Thuringia and his successors. The origins of the House of Hesse begin with the marriage of Sophie of Thuringia to Heinrich II, Duke of Brabant from the House of Reginar. Sophia of Thuringia was daughter of Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia and Elizabeth of Hungary. Sophie was the heiress of Hesse which she passed on to her son, Heinrich I, Landgrave of Hesse upon her retention of the territory following her partial victory in the War of the Thuringian Succession in which she was one of the belligerents.

From the late 16th century, after the reign of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse (1509-1567) it was generally divided into several branches, the most important of which were those of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel) and Hesse-Darmstadt. In the early 19th century the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel was elevated to Elector of Hesse (1803), while the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt became the Grand Duke of Hesse (1806), later Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. The Electorate of Hesse (Hesse-Kassel) was annexed by Prussia in 1866, while Grand Ducal Hesse (Hesse-Darmstadt) remained a sovereign realm until the end of the German monarchies in 1918.

Landgrave Louis X of Hesse-Darmstadt was the son of Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt, and succeeded his father in 1790. He presided over a significant increase in territory for Hesse-Darmstadt during the imperial reorganizations of 1801-1803, most notably the Duchy of Westphalia, hitherto subject to the Archbishop of Cologne. Allied to Napoleon, Louis in 1806 was elevated to the title of a Grand Duke of Hesse and joined the Confederation of the Rhine, leading to the dissolution of the Empire. At the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, Louis had to give up his Westphalian territories, but was compensated with the district of Rheinhessen, with his capital Mainz on the left bank of the Rhine. Because of this addition, he amended his title to Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.

Louis II (December 26, 1777 – June 16, 1848) was Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine from April 6 1830 until March 5, 1848 (He resigned in the German Revolution of 1848). He was the son of Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt. He was married to Wilhelmine of Baden who was his first cousin. Through her, Louis had four surviving children – Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse and By Rhine (June 9, 1806, Darmstadt – June 13, 1877,), Prince Charles, Prince Alexander, and Princess Marie, the wife of Emperor Alexander II of Russia. The last two, however, are speculated to have been fathered by Baron August von Senarclens de Grancy, the longtime lover of Wilhelmine of Baden.

It is Louis II’s second son Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine (April 23, 1809 – March 20, 1877) to where we turn our focus. Prince Charles was married to Princess Elisabeth of Prussia (June 18, 1815 – March 21, 1885), the second daughter of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and Landgravine Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg and a granddaughter of King Friedrich-Wilhelm II of Prussia. She is the great-great grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

IMG_3852 Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and By Rhine

Prince Charles and Princess Elisabeth’s eldest son was Prince Louis (September 1837 – March 13, 1892) and he was born at the Prinz-Karl-Palais in Darmstadt, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine in the German Confederation. Prince Louis was from birth, second-in-line to the grand ducal throne, after his father. On July 1, 1862, Louis married Princess Alice, the third child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. On the day of the wedding, the Queen issued a royal warrant granting her new son-in-law the style of Royal Highness in the United Kingdom. The Queen also subsequently made Prince Louis a knight of the Order of the Garter. Louis became Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and By Rhine on June 13, 1877. Their eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, born 1863, will feature again in our story.

Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine

The next important Prince in our story is Prince Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil of Hesse and By Rhine GCB (July 15, 1823 – December 18, 1888). Prince Alexander was the third son and fourth child of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and Wilhelmina of Baden. He was a brother of Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna. The Battenberg/Mountbatten family descends from Alexander and his wife Countess Julia von Hauke, a former lady-in-waiting to his sister.

Alexander fell in love with Countess Julia Hauke, lady-in-waiting to his sister, future Tasrina Maria Alexandrovna. Countess Hauke, was an orphaned German-Polish ward of the Russian Emperor, and daughter of the Emperor’s former minister of war. At that time, the Emperor Nicholas I was considering Alexander as a possible husband for his niece and, when he heard of Alexander’s romance, he forbade the couple to marry.

Alexander left Russia for England to contemplate his future, but then returned to Russia and eloped with Julia from St. Petersburg, resulting in exile and being stricken by the Emperor’s orders from the roll of the Russian imperial army for insubordination. The two were married in Breslau in 1851. Alexander’s older brother Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse, allowed him to re-patriate to Hesse with his bride, although he did not recognize their marriage as dynastic. He granted her the new, hereditary title of Countess von Battenberg with the style Illustrious Highness (H.Ill.H.). (Battenberg was a small town and ruined castle in the north of the grand duchy which, according to the memoirs of their eldest child Marie, the family visited once during her youth, although it never became their residence).

In 1858 Grand Duke Louis III elevated Countess von Battenberg’s title to that of Princess of Battenberg with the style Serene Highness (HSH). The children of Alexander and Julia thus bore the title of Prince (German: Prinz) or Princess (German: Prinzessin) and the style Serene Highness (German: Durchlaucht). Battenberg thus became the name of a morganatic cadet branch of the Grand Ducal family of Hesse, without right of succession.

The name Battenberg was last used by her youngest son, Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg, who died childless in 1924. Most members of the family, residing in the United Kingdom, had renounced their German titles in 1917, due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I, and changed their name to Mountbatten, an anglicised version of Battenberg.

The eldest son of Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine and Princess Julia of Battenberg was Prince Louis Alexander of Battenberg (May 24, 1854 – September 11, 1921), born six months after their elopement. Although born in Austria, and brought up in Italy and Germany, he enrolled in the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy at the age of fourteen. Queen Victoria and her son King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, occasionally intervened in his career.

IMG_3858 Prince Louis of Battenberg (Louis Mountbatten the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven)

Prince Louis of Battenberg married his father’s first cousin, the aforementioned Princess Victoria of Hesse and Rhine, the daughter of Grand Duke Louis IV of Hesse and By Rhine and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

In 1912, after a naval career lasting more than forty years, Prince Louis of Battenberg was appointed First Sea Lord, the professional head of the British naval service. With World War I looming, he took steps to ready the British fleet for combat, but his background as a German prince forced his retirement once the war began, when anti-German sentiment was running high. In 1917 when anti-German sentiment had reached its zenith, Prince Louis changed his name to Mountbatten, the Anglicized name for Battenberg and relinquished his German titles, at the behest of King George V. In return for giving up his German titles, and for his many years of service in the British Navy, King George V created Louis Mountbatten the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven.

The Marquess of Milford Haven and Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine (Marchioness of Milford Haven) were the parents of four children.

1. George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven.
2. Louise Mountbatten, second wife of King Gustaf VI Adolph of Sweden.
3. Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
4. Princess Alice of Battenberg who married Prince Andreas of Greece and Denmark (prior to the relinquishment of her German title) and were the parents of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

IMG_3853 Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma

This brings us to the person with the name of Louis who had a great influence on today’s British Royal Family. Admiral of the Fleet, Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS (June 25, 1900 – August 27, 1979) second son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine (Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven). Since Lord Mountbatten was born 17 years prior to his family relinquishing their German titles, Lord Louis was born HSH Prince Louis of Battenberg.

Lord Louis was a British Royal Navy officer and statesman, a maternal uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Despite his family’s Hessian foreign origins, he was born in the United Kingdom, and was considered a member of the Royal Family both due to his descent from Queen Victoria and his close blood relation to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. During the Second World War, he was Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command (1943–1946). He was the last Viceroy of India (1947) and the first Governor-General of independent India (1947–1948).

From 1954 to 1959, Mountbatten was First Sea Lord, a position that had been held by his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, some forty years earlier. Thereafter he served as Chief of the Defence Staff until 1965, making him the longest serving professional head of the British Armed Forces to date. During this period Mountbatten also served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee for a year.

In 1979, Lord Mountbatten, his grandson Nicholas, and two others were murdered by a bomb set by members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, hidden aboard his fishing boat in Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland.

Lord Mountbatten was close to the British Royal Family and had a profound affect on the current Prince of Wales who considered his great-uncle to be his honorary grandfather. His influence is felt in many ways, one of them being his name lives on in members of the Royal Family.

Here is a list of the current members of the Royal Family that have the name Louis among their names.

1. Lord Frederick Windsor (Frederick Michael George David Louis; born April 6, 1979), also nicknamed Freddie Windsor, is a British financial analyst, and the only son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

He is a first cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II and a first cousin twice removed of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is 47th in the line of succession to the British throne. Lord Frederick and his sister, Lady Gabriella, were brought up in the Church of England. I do not believe his name of Louis is after Lord Mountbatten.

2. HRH. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO, CD, ADC(P) (Edward Antony Richard Louis; born March 10, 1964) is the youngest of four children and the third son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was third in line of succession to the British throne; he is now tenth.

IMG_1554 HRH The Duke of Cambridge

3. HRH. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC(P) (William Arthur Philip Louis; born June 21, 1982) is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and since birth has been second in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father.

4. HRH. Prince George of Cambridge (George Alexander Louis; born July 22, 2013) is a member of the British royal family. He is the eldest child and elder son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and third in the line of succession to the British throne. As he is expected to become king, his birth was widely celebrated across the Commonwealth realms.

IMG_1963 HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge

5. Prince Louis of Cambridge (Louis Arthur Charles; born April 23, 2018) is a member of the British royal family. He is the third and youngest child and second son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He is fifth in the line of succession to the British throne.


The Name Louis and the British Monarchy: IV


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The next prince on my list in this examination of the name of Louis and its association with the British Royal Family is HRH Frederick-Louis, Prince of Wales, KG (February 1, 1707 – March 31, 1751). He was heir apparent to the British throne from 1727 until his death from a lung injury at the age of 44 in 1751. He was the eldest son King George II and Caroline of Ansbach, and the father of King George III.

IMG_3319 HRH Prince Frederick-Louis, Prince of Wales and Duke of Edinburgh

Under the Act of Settlement passed by the English Parliament in 1701, Frederick-Louis was born fourth in the line of succession to the British throne, after his great-grandmother (Electress Sophia of Hanover), paternal grandfather (King George I) and father (George II). All of these relatives were alive at the time of his birth. Prince Frederick-Louis was born in Hanover, Holy Roman Empire (Germany), as Duke Friedrich-Ludwig of Brunswick-Lüneburg, His paternal great-grandmother, Sophia of Hanover, a granddaughter of James I-VI, King of England, Scotland and Ireland, was cousin and heir presumptive to Queen Anne of Great Britain. When Sophia died before Anne at age 83 in June 1714, this elevated elevated Elector George-Louis to heir-presumptive.

Queen Anne died on August 1, of that same year, and Sophia’s son became King George I. This made Frederick-Louis’s father the new Prince of Wales and first-in-line to the British throne and Frederick-Louis himself became second-in-line.

In 1726 Frederick-Louis’ grandfather, George I, created him Duke of Edinburgh, Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Eltham in the county of Kent, Viscount of Launceston in the county of Cornwall, and Baron of Snaudon in the county of Carnarvon. The latter two titles have been interpreted differently since – the ofs are omitted and Snaudon rendered as Snowdon.

Frederick-Louis spent much of his early life in Hanover even after his grandfather and father moved to England. Frederick-Louis arrived in England in 1728 as a grown man, the year after his father had become King George II. By then, George II and Caroline had had several younger children, and Frederick-Louis, created Prince of Wales January 8th 1729, was a high-spirited youth fond of drinking, gambling and women. The long separation damaged the parent-child relationship, and they would never be close.

With Frederick-Louis now in England it was time for him to settle down and start to raise a family. Negotiations between George II and his brother-in-law Friedrich-Wilhelm I of Prussia on a proposed marriage between the Prince of Wales and Friedrich-Wilhelm I’s daughter, Wilhelmine, were welcomed by Frederick-Louis even though the couple had never met. George II was not keen on the proposal but continued talks for diplomatic reasons. Frustrated by the delay, Frederick-Louis sent an envoy of his own to the Prussian court. When King George II discovered the plan, he immediately arranged for Frederick-Louis to leave Hanover for England. The marriage negotiations ultimately collapsed when Friedrich-Wilhelm I demanded that Frederick-Louis be made Regent in Hanover which meant he’d have the power and authority as Elector of Hanover, just not the tittle. George II would have none of that!

Frederick-Louis also almost married Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland and Lady Anne Churchill. Lady Diana was the favourite grandchild of the powerful Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough. The duchess sought a royal alliance by marrying Lady Diana to the Prince of Wales with a massive dowry of £100,000. The prince, who was in great debt, agreed to the proposal, but the plan was vetoed by Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of the day, along with and the King George II. Lady Diana soon married John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford.

IMG_3498 Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg HRH The Princess of Wales

After a marriage with Lady Diana Spencer did not come to fruition, king George II was visiting Hanover when Queen Caroline suggested that Frederick-Louis visit Saxe-Gotha to view the princesses there. The princess that caught his eye was Princess Augusta. Princess Augusta was born in Gotha to Friedrich II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1676–1732) and Magdalena Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst (1676–1740). Her paternal grandfather was Friedrich I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, eldest surviving son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

When Frederick-Louis informed his mother that he considered Augusta suitable, the marriage was swiftly decided upon. Frederick-Louis simply stated that he accepted any bride his father would decide for him. His motive in seeking an early marriage was not because he’d fallen in love with Princess Augusta, his motive was to obtain an additional allowance from Parliament in order to be financially independent of his father, whom he detested.

IMG_3505 The Prince and Princess of Wales and family

Princess Augusta did not speak French or English, and the British Court suggested that she be given language lessons before the wedding, but her mother did not consider it necessary as the British royal family were from Germany. Therefore she arrived in Britain, speaking virtually no English, for a wedding ceremony which took place almost immediately, on 8 May 1736, at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace, London. The union was presided over by Edmund Gibson, Bishop of London and Dean of the Chapel Royal. Handel provided the new anthem ‘Sing unto God’ for the service and the wedding was also marked in London by two rival operas, Handel’s Atalanta and Porpora’s La festa d’Imeneo.

The royal couple had 9 children (5 sons and 4 daughters) with Prince George being the eldest, born 1738. Frederick-Louis died at Leicester House at the age of 44 in 1751. In the past this has been attributed to a burst lung abscess caused by a blow from a cricket or a real tennis ball, but it is now thought to have been from a pulmonary embolism. He was buried at Westminster Abbey on April 13, 1751.

Prince George inherited his father’s title of Duke of Edinburgh. George II showed more interested in his grandson and three weeks after the death of the Prince of Wales the King created George Prince of Wales, a title that is not automatically inherited.

Britain would not have a King Frederick-Louis and this was the closest they would come to a King with the name Louis.

Mecklenburg-Strelitz raised to a Grand Duchy by the Congress of Vienna June 28, 1815.


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On this date in History: June 28, 1815. Today in 1815 the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is raised to a Grand Duchy by the Congress of Vienna. Duke Carl II, pictured, therefore becomes the first Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

IMG_3510 Carl II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Carl II (October 10, 1741 – November 6, 1816) was ruler of the state of Mecklenburg-Strelitz from 1794 until his death. Originally ruling as duke, he was raised to the rank of grand duke in 1815.

Duke Carl Ludwig Friedrich of Mecklenburg was born in Mirow the second son of Duke Carl Ludwig Friedrich of Mecklenburg, and his wife Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. On December 11, 1752 his uncle Adolph-Friedrich III died and as a result Carl’s older brother succeeded him becoming Adolph-Friedrich IV. With his brother’s ascension Carl was taken with the rest of the family from Mirow to the capital Strelitz.

Following the childless death of his older brother Adolph-Friedrich IV on June 2, 1794, Carl succeeded him as the ruling Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

IMG_2495 Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen Consort of Great Britain.

Carl’s sister, Charlotte, married King George III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the Elector of Hanover, on September 8, 1761. Carl II made frequent visits to his sister in Great Britain and he ultimately entered the service of his brother-in-law the Elector of Hanover with a chief military appointment at Hanover following service in Spain. Prior to succeeding to the throne of Mecklenburg-Strelitz he served as Governor of Hanover from 1776 to 1786.

Marriages and children

After unsuccessful attempts to marry a Princess of Denmark and a Princess of Saxe-Gotha, Carl II married as his first wife Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt, a daughter of Prince Georg-Wilhelm of Hesse-Darmstadt on September 18, 1768 in Darmstadt. They had ten children together. Two of the daughters became German queens consort.

Duchess Charlotte Georgine of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1769–1818) married Friedrich, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
Duchess Caroline Auguste of Mecklenburg (1771–1773)
Duke Georg-Carl of Mecklenburg (1772–1773)
Duchess Therese of Mecklenburg (1773–1839) married Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis
Duke Friedrich-Georg of Mecklenburg (1774–1774)
Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg (1776–1810) married Friedrich-Wilhelm III of Prussia
Duchess Frederica of Mecklenburg (1778–1841) married (1) Prince Ludwig-Carl of Prussia (2) Friedrich-Wilhelm, Prince of Solms-Braunfels (3) Ernst-August I of Hanover
Georg, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1779–1860)
Duke Friedrich-Karl of Mecklenburg (1781–1783)
Duchess Auguste Albertine of Mecklenburg (1782–1782)

After Friederike’s death in 1782, Carl II married her sister Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt on September 28 1784 in Darmstadt. Charlotte died on December 12, 1785 shortly after giving birth to their son Duke Carl of Mecklenburg (1785–1837).

In the summer of 1816 Carl II went on a tour of Rebberg, Schwalbach and Hildburghausen. Shortly after returning he was taken ill with inflammation of the lungs. He died in Neustrelitz after suffering a fit of apoplexy. He was succeeded by his eldest son Georg.

The name Louis and the British Monarchy: III


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As we continue to examine the name Louis and its association with the British monarchy this next entry does stray a bit from a rigid definition of the British Royal Family. For these next examples they were not members of the British Royal Family technically speaking; they were members of the king’s family. This is a distinction that does have a difference. Though these examples were members of the German House of Hanover that ruled over Prussia, they were also the grandchildren of King George I of Great Britain.

IMG_3186Sophia-Dorothea of Great Britain and Hanover

King George I had one daughter, Sophia Dorothea. On November 28, 1706, she married her paternal cousin, Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia, heir apparent to the Prussian throne. The Crown Prince’s mother, was Princess Sophia of Hanover, brother of King George I of Great Britain, and wife of King Frederick I in Prussia. Sophia -Dorothea and Frederick-William had met as children when Frederick-William had spent some time in Hanover under the care of their grandmother. Sophia-Dorothea disliked him, however, Frederick-William had reportedly felt an attraction to her early on.

Sophia-Dorothea was described as tall, with a beautiful slender figure, graceful and dignified with big blue eyes. She was seen as quite attractive at the time of her marriage and was described as charming in her manners, and made a good impression in Berlin.

Sophia-Dorothea and Frederick-William were different from one another and were ill suited for one another and the marriage suffered as a result. Sophia-Dorothea was a cultured princess with a strong interested in art, science, literature and fashion, while Frederick-William was described as an unpolished, uneducated and spartan military man with rough manners. Sophia Dorothea loved entertainment, something he regarded to be frivolous and this was a major source of friction between them.

Frederick-William I, King in Prussia

Though Frederick-William was never unfaithful to her, a rare trait in a Royal prince of those days, he was unable to win her affection. At one point Frederick-William contemplated divorcing her the same year they married and, judging by her letters, accused her of not wanting to be married to him. It seems that was a correct assumption. Despite great animosity between the couple they seemed to be compatible in the bedroom. Between 1707 and 1730 the couple had 14 children, 10 survived to adulthood.

The name Louis was found among three of their sons, and the feminine form Louise was found among the names of two of their daughters. The first child, a son, was born in 1707 and christened Frederick-Louis, and his birth was celebrated greatly in Prussia. Sadly the next year, 1708 Frederick-Louis died. Sophia-Dorothea’s physicians declared was not likely to conceive again.

This declaration of her possible future barrenness prompted her father-in-law, Frederick I, King in Prussia, to marry Sophia-Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, to insure the succession to the Prussian throne. However, Sophia-Louise had no children by him. It is interesting to note that shortly before wedding the king had been informed that his daughter-in-law (Sophia-Dorothea) was pregnant, and answered that had he been aware of this, he would not have married again. Despite the declaration by her physicians Sophia-Dorothea did give birth to several children, as previously mentioned, including Frederick II The Great, King of Prussia (1740-1786).

The next child of Sophia-Dorothea of Great Britain and Hanover and Frederick-William I, King in Prussia which had with the name of Louis among them was HRH Prince Frederick-Henry-Louis of Prussia, January 18, 1726 and died August 3, 1802, was commonly known as Henry. He also served as a general and statesman, leading Prussian armies in the Silesian Wars and the Seven Years’ War, having never lost a battle in the latter. In 1786, he was suggested as a candidate for a monarch for the United States, prior to the decision to become a Republic.

The last child of Sophia-Dorothea of Great Britain and Hanover and Frederick-William I, King in Prussia which had with the name of Louis among them was HRH Prince Louis-Charles-Wilhelm, born in 1717 and died sadly in 1719 at the age of two.

This concludes a look at the grandchildren of King George I of Great Britain, Elector of Hanover and its association with the name Louis.

Part IV coming soon!

Anniversary of the birth of the Old Pretender


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James Francis Edward, Prince of Wales (June 10, 1688-January 1, 1766), nicknamed the Old Pretender, was the son of King James II and VII of England, Scotland and Ireland, and his second wife, Mary of Modena. Only months after James Francis Edward’s birth, his Catholic father was deposed and exiled in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. James II’s Protestant elder daughter, Mary II, and her husband, William III, became co-monarchs and the Bill of Rights 1689 and Act of Settlement 1701excluded Catholics from the British throne.


James Francis Edward was raised in Continental Europe and after his father’s death in 1701, he claimed the English, Scottish and Irish crown as James III of England and Ireland and James VIII of Scotland, with the support of his Jacobite followers and his cousin Louis XIV of France. Fourteen years later, he unsuccessfully attempted to gain the throne in Britain during the Jacobite rising of 1715.

Marriage and progeny

Louise Adélaïde d’Orléans (Mademoiselle d’Orléans), daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, was at one time suggested as a wife for James Francis Edward Stuart, but nothing came of it.

In March 1717, while James was visiting Modena, he became engaged to his cousin Benedetta d’Este, but her father Rinaldo III put an end to the engagement to preserve his relations with Hanover and Great Britain.

On September 3, 1719, James Francis Edward Stuart married Maria Clementina Sobieska (1702–1735), granddaughter of King John III Sobieskiof Poland. The wedding was held in the chapel of the Episcopal Palace in Montefiascone, near Viterbo. By his wife he had two sons:

1. Charles Edward Stuart (31 December 1720 – 31 January 1788), nicknamed “Bonnie Prince Charlie”
2. Henry Benedict Stuart (11 March 1725 – 13 July 1807), a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church

Following his death in 1766, his elder son, Charles Edward Stuart, continued the claim the British crown as part of the Jacobite Succession.

Incidentally, had James Frances Edward reigned as James III-VIII, he would have reigned as one of the longest British monarchs with his reign lasting 64 years, 3 months, 16 days. This would have been about a year longer than Queen Victoria but not as long as the present Queen, Elizabeth II, who has reigned, as of today, 66 years, 4 months, 4 days.


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Happy Birthday HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Exerts from Wikipedia

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921) is the husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II.


Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born in Mon Repos on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, the only son and fifth and final child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Philip’s four elder sisters were Margarita, Theodora, Cecilie, and Sophie. He was baptised into the Greek Orthodox Church. His godparents were Queen Olga of Greece (his paternal grandmother) and Alexandros S. Kokotos (the Mayor of Corfu).


A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets.


After the war, Philip was granted permission by King George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Baron Greenwich, Earl of Merionethand Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became monarch in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was formally made a British prince in 1957.


Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. He has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of Philip and Elizabeth not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.


A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, at the age of 96, after having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland


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IMG_3126Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland (Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine; born 10 June 1982), is the second daughter and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. Upon her birth, she was third in line of succession to the Swedish throne. She is currently seventh in the line of succession. Princess Madeleine is married to British-American financier Christopher O’Neill. They have three children, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne.

Happy Birthday to the Duke of Mecklenburg.

Disclaimer: I did not write this: this was written by the Dukes of Mecklenburg’s official Twitter account. I am sharing it.


Duke Borwin was born on 10 June 1956 in Freiburg-im-breisgau. He is the youngest child and only son of Duke Georg Alexander and Duchess Ilona.

Early life and education

Duke Borwin was christened into the Roman Catholic Church receiving the names Georg Borwin Friedrich Franz Carl Stephan Konrad Hubertus Maria. As is traditional for the eldest son of the family he received Georg as his first Christian name, his second name Borwin is an old Wendish name with a long connection with the House of Mecklenburg dating back to Prince Heinrich Borwin I of Mecklenburg, the grandson of the ancestor of the family, Niklot, Prince of the Obotrites. The name’s Friedrich Franz were given in honour of Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin who was among his godparents.

Duke Borwin grew up in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest West Germany receiving his education at the Waldorf School in Freiburg between 1963 and 1976. He became heir apparent to the headship of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz upon the death of his grandfather Duke Georg on 6 July 1963 acquiring the traditional title of Hereditary Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

After completing his schooling Duke Borwin would serve in the German Army where he achieved the rank of Captain of the German Federal Forces. In 1984 he began studying at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute, graduating in 1987 with an engineer degree in viticulture and beverage technology.

Family and career

Duke Borwin was married to Alice Wagner in Hinterzarten on 24 December 1985 in a civil ceremony, followed by a religious ceremony on 19 July 1986. The couple made their home in the Black Forest region of the state of Baden-Württemberg where they raised their three children together, Duchess Olga, born 1988, Hereditary Prince Alexander, born 1991 and Duke Michael, born 1994. Duke Borwin and his wife continue to live in the Black Forest today.

Living in the Black Forest has enabled Duke Borwin to enjoy his outdoor interests like the environment, fishing and hunting; his other interests include art, culture and social issues. Duke Borwin is actively involved in his local community supporting children with special needs through the Friends Association of the Upper Black Forest Support Centre, where he was chairman for over 10 years; he is also an active member of his local hunting association.

During his early career Duke Borwin and his wife managed a hotel together between 1988 and 1995, afterwards he became a manager at a Swiss drinks company. Latterly he has pursued a career in sales for Germany’s largest hunting outfitter, Frankonia and for the Vogel Shooting Centre in Eschbach. He has also been a licensed weapons dealer since August 2015 following the completion of a course at the Weapons School in Suhl.

Head of the house

Duke Borwin succeeded as head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz on 26 January 1996 upon the death of his father Duke Georg Alexander. Due to the terms of the 1701 Treaty of Hamburg, following the death of Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on 31 July 2001 Duke Borwin has also been head of the entire House of Mecklenburg.

Duke Borwin, while not resident in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, maintains a close link to the state and attends various functions there throughout the year. In June 2016 he chose to celebrate his landmark 60th birthday in Neustrelitz with the celebrations being attended by family, friends and local politicians and dignitaries. Being directly descended from the Russian branch of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, which was founded by Duke Borwin’s great-great grandfather Duke Georg upon his 1851 marriage to Grand Duchess Ekaterina Mikhailovna of Russia, he also retains ties to Russia having first visited the country in 1997.

After becoming head of the house Duke Borwin had to address the restitution process with the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which his father had begun after German reunification in 1990 with claims dating back to the period of Nazi rule. When the process was concluded in 2004 the Grand Ducal Family reclaimed some land and buildings in Remplin, the majority of which were in a poor condition, including the north wing of the Remplin Palace which was all that remained after the majority of it was destroyed by the Nazis in an arson attack in 1940.

While head of the house Duke Borwin has actively become involved with a number of charitable causes. He is the patron and protector of the Knights Order of the Griffin which provides support to various charitable projects. The order which was created in 1984 revived the Griffin name of the defunct Grand Ducal Mecklenburg Order of the Griffin.

Duke Borwin is a supporter of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL) and was a guest at the dedication of their baptismal site by the River Jordan in January 2014. He supported the 1998 republication, after a 54 year absence, of the famous genealogical directory the Almanach de Gotha and serves as member of its Comité de Patronage. Duke Borwin is also patron of the lineage society the Order of the Founders of North America 1492-1692 which he was admitted into due to his descent from King Felipe II, under whose reign Spain ruled and colonised parts of North America.

The name Louis and the British Monarchy: II


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As we have seen, England almost had a King Louis. It is interesting to speculate how things would have turned out had King John not died when he did. Forces were working against him as Louis was gaining ground and victory seemed assured until the sudden death of King John and the reversal of the Barons revolt. If Louis had succeeded English history would have unfolded much differently.

From 1217 until the 18th Century there was no prince with the name Louis even as a secondary name. From my research and the records I have read it seems that multiple names didn’t even begin until 17th century and even then there is only one case I know of: Prince Charles James, Duke of Cornwall, son of Charles I and elder brother of Charles II and James II-VII.

One early example of Louis as a secondary name within the British Royal Family is questionable. I interrupt my strict chronological narrative of this series to include this royal prince for I feel he should be counted and considered.

Prince Charles Edward Stuart

The person in question is Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, and known to history as “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” the elder son of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, Prince of Wales and the grandson of James II-VII and after 1766 the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain.* I question if this is an example of the name “Louis” in the British Royal Family because during his lifetime he technically was not a member of the Royal Family since the House of Hanover was on the throne at this time. However, for the sake of this discussion, I will overlook this technicality and include him as a prince of Britain to carry the name Louis. Also, I am not aware of any legal restrictions of the title of prince placed on the exiled Stuart line and most historians do view the exiled Stuarts as being British princes.

In full his name was Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart (December 31, 1720 – January 31, 1788). Besides being known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, during his lifetime he was also known as “The Young Pretender” or “The Young Chevalier” and to his supporters he was King Charles III of England, Scotland and Ireland. He is best remembered for his role in the 1745 uprising and defeat at the Battle of Culloden in April 16, 1746 to unseat the House of Hanover and place himself on the throne. The loss at Culloden effectively ended the Stuart cause against the House of Hanover and the subsequent attempts at a planned French invasion in 1759 failed to materialize. Prince Charles’ dramatic escape from Scotland after the failed uprising led him to be portrayed as a romantic figure of heroic failure in later representations of stories and songs.

* During Prince Charles life time the kingdom he tried to rule over was the Kingdom of Great Britain which came into being with the Act of Union of 1707 which united the crowns of England and Scotland into one nation. However, many Jacobites (the supporters of the the exiled Stuart line) did not recognize this union and still considered the three kingdoms as being separate.

Prince Charles string of names does highlight his heritage. The name Casimir denotes the Polish heritage of his mother, Maria Clementina Sobieska, the granddaughter of John III Sobieski of Poland. The name Louis stems from their cousin Louis XIV and Louis XV of France. Louis XIV was the first cousin to Prince Charles’ grandfather, James II-VII, who first gave the Stuarts support in exile and Louis XV also gave financial support to the exiled Stuarts.

In this blog I try my best to use the names of these individuals in their native tongue. For example, I never call the last German Emperor by the English translation of his name, William II, I call him by the German translation, Wilhelm II. However, for this series, I will render all German names in their English translation.

King George I of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire.

The first member of the British Royal Family with the secondary name of Louis was King George I of Great Britain (May 28, 1660 – June 11, 1727). His name in English was George-Louis. In German it was Georg-Ludwig. He was the eldest son of Ernest-Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate. Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I-VI of England, Scotland and Ireland through her mother, Elizabeth of Bohemia. George-Louis’ father died on January 23, 1698, leaving all of his territories and titles to George-Louis with the exception of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück, an office he had held since 1661. George-Louis thus became Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (also known as Hanover, after its capital) as well as Archbannerbearer and a Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire. In his German lands this new Elector of Hanover was known by his double names, Georg-Ludwig.

George-Louis’ mother, the Electress Sophia of Hanover, was the designated hier to the British throne according to the Act of Settlement of 1701. She was selected as heiress to the British throne in order to exclude the Catholic line of the House of Stuart from the succession. She was the nearest descendent of James I-VI that was Protestant. However, she never became Queen of Great Britain, She died on May 28, 1714 at the age of 83….it was her son, George-Louis’ 54th birthday. The Electress Sophia had collapsed in the gardens at Herrenhausen after rushing to shelter from a shower of rain. George-Louis was now Queen Anne’s heir presumptive.

Queen Anne herself shortly thereafter suffered a stroke, which left her unable to speak, and she died on August 1, 1714. Elector George-Louis of Hanover was proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ireland. Instead of being King George-Louis of Great Britain the name Louis was dropped from his official name and title in Great Britain.

Stay Tuned next week for part III.

The name Louis and the British Monarchy


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Though I’m a bit late with this, I wanted to look at the name Louis given to the new Prince born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It isn’t a name that has a large history within the British Royal Family (this includes both England and Scotland), Louis has never been used as a first name in the British Royal Family, but it does have some history as a secondary name and a name associated, or connected to, other relatives of the British Royal Family.

Today will be Part I of examining the name Louis and it’s association with the British Royal Family. The name Louis has a long tradition within the French Monarchy and various German States in its long history of monarchy.

Before I get into detail about that, did you know there was almost a King Louis of England? The future King Louis VIII of France (1223-1226) laid claim to the English throne in 1216-1217 during the First Barons’ War of 1215–17. Here is his story.

King Louis VIII of France

Throughout the reign of King John of England he has a tumultuous relationship with the English Barons. Things ignited in 1215 when King John marched against Alexander II of Scotland, who had allied himself with the rebel cause. In a swift turn of events John took back Alexander II’s possessions in northern England and in a rapid campaign and pushed up towards Edinburgh. This was all accomplished over a ten-day period.

The rebel barons responded to John’s actions by inviting the French prince Louis to lead them. Louis was the son of King Philippe II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut. Louis laid claim to the English throne by virtue of his marriage to Blanche of Castile. Blanche was the daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, (Eleanor was the sixth child and second daughter of Henry II of England, and Eleanor of Aquitaine and the sister of King Richard I and King John of England) thus making Blanche of Castile a granddaughter of Henry II of England and nice of King Richard I and King John. In those days succession to the thrones of many European countries were often claimed by husbands in right of their wives who were technically in the line of succession but often did not have succession rights themselves. However, Louis was also the great-great-great grandson of William I “the Conqueror,” King of England via William’s daughter Adela of Normandy.

King John of England

Prince Louis’ father, Philippe II of France, may have provided him with private support but refused to openly support Louis. The reason for the lack of public support was that Pope Innocent III excommunicated Louis for taking part in the war against John. Louis’ planned arrival in England presented a significant problem for John, as the prince would bring with him naval vessels and siege engines essential to the rebel cause. Once John contained Alexander II in Scotland, he marched south to deal with the challenge of the coming invasion.

Prince Louis intended to land in the south of England in May 1216, and John assembled a naval force to intercept him. Unfortunately for John, his fleet was dispersed by bad storms and Louis landed unopposed in Kent. John hesitated and decided not to attack Louis immediately, either due to the risks of open battle or over concerns about the loyalty of his own men. Louis and the rebel barons advanced west and John retreated, spending the summer reorganising his defences across the rest of the kingdom. John saw several of his military household desert to the rebels, including his half-brother, William Longespée. By the end of the summer the rebels had regained the south-east of England and parts of the north.

The barons offered the throne to Prince Louis, who landed unopposed on the Isle of Thanet in eastern Kent, England, at the head of an army on May 21, 1216. There was little resistance when the prince entered London, and Louis was proclaimed “King of England” at Old St Paul’s Cathedral with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London on June 2, 1216. Even though he was not crowned, many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland on behalf of his English possessions, gathered to give homage. By June 14, 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom.

With full control of England within his grasp, suddenly it all slipped away from Louis. King John died on the night of 18/19 October. Numerous – probably fictitious – accounts circulated soon after his death that he had been killed by poisoned ale, poisoned plums or a “surfeit of peaches”. With King John suddenly and unexpected gone, so was the motivation for the revolt. The Barons swiftly deserted Louis in favour of John’s nine-year-old son, the new king, Henry III.

The Earl of Pembroke was now acting regent, called for the English “to defend our land” against the French. Louis’ army was beaten at the Battle of Lincoln on May 20, 1217 and his naval forces were defeated at the Battle of Sandwich in August of 1217. Then after a failed attempt to conquer Dover Castle, Louis was forced to make peace on English terms.

The principal provisions of the Treaty of Lambeth were an amnesty for English rebels, a pledge from Louis not to attack England again, and 10,000 marks to be given to Louis. In return for this payment, Louis agreed that he never had been the legitimate king of England. Despite his losses in England, his military prowess earned him the epithet “Louis the Lion.” On July 14, 1223 Philippe II of France died and Louis the Lion became King Louis VIII of France.

This does not end the association between the name Louis and the British monarchy. Join me later this week for Part II.