Frederick the Great of Prussia, Frederick William I of Prussia, King George I of Great Britain, Kingdom of Prussia, Kings and Queens of Great Britain, Louis, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Sophia Dorothea of Great Britain
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.
Sophia-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!