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Adolf-Friedrich II (October 9, 1658 – May 12, 1708), Duke of Mecklenburg, was the first Duke of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz, reigning from 1701 until his death. Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

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Adolf-Friedrich II, Duke of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Biography

Adolf-Friedrich II was born in Grabow as the posthumous son of Duke Adolf-Friedrich I of Mecklenburg (1588-1658) and his second wife, Maria-Catharina of Brunswick-Dannenberg (1616–1665).

Division of Mecklenburg and Thirty Years’ War

The Duchy of Mecklenburg had many complex divisions which I will cover in another blog entry. Briefly, the grandson’s of Duke Heinrich IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Heinrich V (1479-1552) and Albrecht VII (1486-1547) respectively, again divided the duchy, creating the subdivision of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, which Duke Adolf-Friedrich I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin inherited in 1610.

In a second partition of 1621 the duchy of Mecklenburg was formally divided again between brothers, with Adolf-Friedrich I ruling in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Johann-Albrecht II ruling in Mecklenburg-Güstrow. During the Thirty Years’ War, Albrecht von Wallenstein ousted the dukes after they secretly sided with King Christian IV of Denmark against Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II.

Wallenstein ruled the duchies from 1627 until 1631, when the dukes were restored by the Swedes under King Gustaf II Adolph. In 1634 Adolf-Friedrich I succeeded Ulrik of Denmark, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (son of King Christian IV of Denmark and his consort Queen Anne Catherine of Brandenburg) as last Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin before its secularization.

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Adolf-Friedrich I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

By his first wife, Anna-Maria of East Frisia, daughter of Count Enno III of East Frisia and Anna of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, Duke Adolf-Friedrich I of Mecklenburg‘s eldest son Christian-Ludwig I, (1623-1692) became Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on his father’s death in 1658. Despite two marriages, first to his cousin Christine-Margaret (1615-1666), the second daughter of Duke John-Albrecht II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, second to Elisabeth Angelique de Montmorency, Duchesse de Coligny, (b. 1626), Christian-Ludwig I died childless and he was succeeded as Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin by his nephew Friedrich-Wilhelm, the eldest son of Duke Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Grabow.

By his second wife, Marie-Catharina (1616–1665), daughter of Duke Julius-Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Dannenberg, and Maria of East Frisia (1582–1616), Duke Adolf-Friedrich I of Mecklenburg‘s eldest son from this union was Friedrich I Duke of Mecklenburg-Grabow. Friedrich I married Landgravine Christine-Wilhelmine of Hesse-Homburg (1653-172) was the eldest daughter of Wilhelm-Christoph, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg and his first wife Sophia-Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt. Their eldest son was Friedrich-Wilhelm, the successor to his uncle, Christian-Ludwig I, as Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

In 1695, came the death of Gustaf-Adolph, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, who was the son of Duke Johann-Albrecht II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and his third wife Eleonore-Marie of Anhalt-Bernburg (1600–1657), daughter of Prince Christian I of Anhalt-Bernburg. with the death of Gustaf-Adolph the Mecklenburg-Güstrow branch of the House of Mecklenburg became extinct and Adolph-Friedrich II’s nephew, Friedrich-Wilhelm, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, laid claim to the inheritance, a move which Adolph-Friedrich II opposed.

The dispute was settled in 1701, when Adolph-Friedrich II reached an agreement with his nephew, Duke Friedrich-Wilhelm, to take as his inheritance the Principality of Ratzeburg and the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

Following his death in 1708, Adolph-Friedrich II was succeeded as Duke by his son, Adolph-Friedrich III.

Marriages and children

In 1684 Adolph-Friedrich II married firstly to Princess Maria of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (1659-1701), daughter of Gustaf-Adolph, Duke of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and his wife Magdalene-Sibylle of Holstein-Gottorp, a daughter of Duke Friedrich III of Holstein-Gottorp and his wife Duchess Marie Elisabeth of Saxony.

They had five children:
* Duke Adolph-Friedrich III of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1686-1752).
* Duchess Magdalena Amalia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1689-1689).
* Duchess Maria of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1690-1690).
* Duchess Eleonore Wilhelmina of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1691-1691).
* Duchess Gustave Caroline of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1694-1748) she married Christian Ludwig II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

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Christian Ludwig II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

On June 20, 1702, Adolf-Friedrich II married secondly, Princess Johanna of Saxe-Gotha (1680-1704), a daughter of Friedrich I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, and Magdalena Sybille of Saxe-Weissenfels. There were no children from this marriage.

On June 10, 1705 at Neustrelitz, Adolf-Friedrich II married thirdly to Princess Christiane-Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen (1681-1751), a daughter of Christian-Wilhelm I, Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen and Countess Antonie Sybille of Barby-Mühlingen (1641–1684). They had two children:
* Duchess Sophia Christina Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1706-1708).
* Duke Charles-Ludwig-Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1708-1752), Prince of Mirow.

Duke Charles-Ludwig-Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married on February 5, 1735 to Princess Elisabeth-Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen, daughter of Ernst-Friedrich I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1681 – 1724) and his wife Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach (1683–1742).

They had ten children, six of whom survived into adulthood:

One of his daughters was Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818) who married, 1762, King George III of Great Britain and Ireland from October 25, 1760 until the union of the two countries on January 1, 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820.

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Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

This mean that through his granddaughter Charlotte, Adolf-Frriedrich II of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is the great-grandfather of two future British monarchs, George IV and William IV; Charlotte, Queen of Württemberg; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the father of Queen Victoria; and Ernst-August, King of Hanover, Adolphus-Frederick, Duke of Cambridge is named for him, Further Adolf-Frriedrich II is the ancestor of every British monarch beginning with George IV, who ascended the throne of the United Kingdom in 1820.

Ancestry

Adolf-Frriedrich II was a fourth-generation descendant of Gustaf I Vasa, King of Sweden, and his second Queen consort Margareta Leijonhufvud through their second child and first daughter Katharina of Sweden. Katharina was consort to Edzard II, Count of East Frisia. East Frisia played a prominent role in the spreading of the Protestant Reformation within the Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century and was thus a natural ally for Protestant Sweden.

Their daughter Maria, Princess of East Frisia (1582–1616), became consort to Julius-Ernst, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1571–1636). They were the maternal grandparents of Adolf Friedrich II. He is a distant relative of Lord Louis Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of India.