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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.