Yesterday I wrote about the death of Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Today I’d like to examine the genealogy of her daughter, Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (Marie Melita Leopoldine Viktoria Feodora Alexandra Sophie; January 18, 1899 – November 8, 1967) was the Duchess consort of Schleswig-Holstein as the wife of Wilhelm Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. She was the eldest daughter of Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his wife Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Ancestors: Part I.
Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg descended twice from Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1786 – 1861), mother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Her first line of descent was through Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld’s first marriage to Emich Carl, 2nd Prince of Leiningen (1763-1814). Their daughter, Princess Feodora of Leiningen (1807-1872) was a half sister to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Princess Feodora married in early 1828 at Kensington Palace to Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1794–1860) The match was arranged by Queen Adelaide of the United Kingdom (Consort of King William IV), as Prince Ernst I was her first cousin. Prior to that, she had only met him twice.
Princess Feodora of Leiningen
Their son was Hermann, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1832-1913). On September 24, 1862 at Karlsruhe, Prince Hermann married Princess Leopoldine of Baden, the fourth and youngest daughter of Prince William of Baden (1792-1859) and Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Württemberg (1802-1864). They had three children (one son and two daughters).
Their eldest son was Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1863 – 1950) and he married Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on April 20, 1896. They have five children, among them was Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Ancestors Part II.
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg’s second line of descent from Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was through her second marriage to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, (1767 – 1820). He was the fourth son and fifth child of King George III of the United Kingdom and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Victoria and Edward were married on May 29, 1818 at Schloss Ehrenburg, Coburg, in a Lutheran rite, and again on July 11, 1818 at Kew Palace, Kew, Surrey.
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom
Their only child was Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819-1901). On February 10, 1840 Queen Victoria married her maternal first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819 – 1861) the second son of Ernest III, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, (later Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) and his first wife, Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children, four sons and five daughters. Alfred (Alfred Ernest Albert; 1844 – 1900) was their second son and fourth child. He was known as the Duke of Edinburgh from 1866 until he succeeded his paternal uncle Ernest II as the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in the German Empire.
On January 23, 1874, the Duke of Edinburgh married the Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, the second (and only surviving) daughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and his first wife Marie of Hesse and by Rhine, daughter of Ludwig II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and Wilhelmine of Baden, at the Winter Palace, St Petersburg.
Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the fourth child and third daughter of Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. On April 20, 1896 Princess Alexandra married Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1863 – 1950). Alexandra’s grandmother, Queen Victoria, complained that she was too young. Alexandra’s father objected to the status of his future son-in-law. The House of Hohenlohe-Lagenburg was mediatized – a formerly ruling family who had ceded their sovereign rights to others while (in theory) retaining their equal birth.
Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg was their eldest daughter.
Marriage and Descendants
On February 5, 1916 at Coburg, Marie Melita married her second cousin, Wilhelm Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1891 – 1965) the only son of Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and his wife Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.
Wilhelm Friedrich’s mother, Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1860 – 1932) was the second-eldest daughter of Friedrich VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and his wife Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Princess Karoline Mathilde was the younger sister of Augusta Victoria and both sisters were also descendants of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld’s first marriage to Emich Carl, 2nd Prince of Leiningen. Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg was the wife of German Emperor Wilhelm II who was also the eldest grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
Prince Wilhelm Friedrich’s father, Friedrich Ferdinand, was the eldest son of Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and a nephew of Christian IX of Denmark. (The Augustenburg and Glücksburg families were collateral branches of the House of Schleswig-Holstein, which itself was a branch of the even larger Danish-German House of Oldenburg).
Upon the death of his father in 1885, Wilhelm Friedrich succeeded to the headship of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and the title of duke. As mentioned above, Friedrich married his second cousin, Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, daughter of Ernst II, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his wife Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Friedrich and Marie Melita had four children.
Peter, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (Friedrich Ernst Peter; 1922 – 1980); was the third and youngest son of Wilhelm Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and his wife, Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. As we have seen he was a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria through her second son, Prince Alfred. Prince Peter was the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Head of both the House of Glücksburg and the entire House of Oldenburg from February 10, 1965 until his death on September 10, 1980.
Prince Peter married Princess Marie Alix of Schaumburg-Lippe, daughter of Prince Stephan Alexander Viktor of Schaumburg-Lippe and his wife, Duchess Ingeborg Alix of Oldenburg, on October 9, 1947 in Glücksburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Peter and Marie Alix had four children, all of whom bore the style Highness.
Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Duke of Glücksburg
There eldest son is Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, born August 22, 1949 and has been the head of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (commonly known as the House of Glücksburg) and, by agnatic primogeniture, he has been Head of the entire House of Oldenburg since 1980. He is the current titular Duke of Schleswig-Holstein and Duke of Glücksburg. He is a male-line descendant of Christian I of Denmark, and is also descended cognatically from numerous more recent monarchs, including Queen Victoria, Emperor Alexander II of Russia and several more recent Danish kings.
Christoph married Princess Elisabeth of Lippe-Weissenfeld (b. 1957), daughter of Prince Alfred of Lippe-Weissenfeld and Baroness Irmgard Julinka Wagner von Wehrborn, at Glücksburg civilly on September 23, 1981 and religiously on October 3. Christoph and Elisabeth have four children:
Their eldest son is His Highness Prince Friedrich Ferdinand, Hereditary Prince of Schleswig-Holstein (born July 15, 1985 in Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany) is the heir apparent of Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, current head of the House of Schleswig-Holstein, the senior extant line of the House of Oldenburg.
As a 4th-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, Friedrich Ferdinand is in the line of succession to the British throne. He is heir-apparent to the headship of a Royal House that includes Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, King Harald V of Norway, the deposed King Constantine II of Greece and, patrilineally, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.