Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
|Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Queen consort of Prussia|
Electress consort of Brandenburg
Portrait by Josef Grassi
|Tenure||16 November 1797 – 19 July 1810|
|Born||10 March 1776|
|Died||19 July 1810 (aged 34)|
|Spouse||Frederick William III|
|Issue||Frederick William IV, King of Prussia|
William I, German Emperor
Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of Russia
Alexandrine, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Louise, Princess Frederick of the Netherlands
|House||House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
House of Hohenzollern
|Father||Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Mother||Landgravine Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt|
Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (German: Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie Herzogin zu Mecklenburg; 10 March 1776 – 19 July 1810) was Queen consort of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III.
After her husband's ascension, Louise developed many ties to senior ministers and became a powerful figure within the government as she began to command universal respect and affection. The queen always tried to stay informed of political developments at court, and from the very beginning of his reign the new king consulted Louise on matters of state.
Though Prussia had not fought in a war since 1795, its military leaders were confident that they could win against Napoleon's troops. After a small incident concerning an anti-French pamphlet occurred, King Frederick William was finally pressured by his wife and family to break off his uneasy peace and enter the war against the French emperor. Prussian troops began mobilizing, culminating in the October 1806 Battle of Jena-Auerstedt, which was a disaster for Prussia, as the ability of its armed forces to continue the war were effectively wiped out. The king and queen had accompanied their troops into battle at Jena (with Louise apparently dressed "like an Amazon"), but had to flee from French troops.
Napoleon himself occupied Berlin, and the king, queen and the rest of the royal family had to flee, despite Louise's illness, in the dead of winter to Königsberg in the easternmost part of the kingdom. On the journey there, there was no food or clean water, and the king and queen were forced to share the same sleeping arrangements in "one of the wretched barns they call houses", according to one witness traveling with them.
Napoleon demanded, from a highly superior position, peace terms in what was to be called the Peace of Tilsit (1807). In the midst of these negotiations, the emperor agreed to keep half of Prussia intact. Louise reluctantly agreed to meet the emperor at Tilsit, but only to save "her Prussia." She tried to use her beauty and charm to flatter him into more favorable terms. Before she had called him "the Monster", but now she made a request for a private interview with the emperor. She threw herself at his feet; Napoleon was impressed by her grace and determination, but he refused to make any concessions. Queen Louise's efforts to protect her adopted country from French aggression became well admired by future generations.
On 19 July 1810, the Queen died in her husband's arms from an unidentified illness. The queen's subjects attributed the French occupation as the cause of her early death. Louise's death left her husband alone during a period of great difficulty, as the Napoleonic Wars and need for reform continued. Napoleon remarked the king "has lost his best minister."
Ancestry[change | change source]
|Adolf Frederick I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin|
|Adolf Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Duchess Marie Katharina of Brunswick-Dannenberg|
|Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow|
|Christian Wilhelm, Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen|
|Princess Christiane Emilie of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen|
|Countess Antonie Sibylle of Barby-Muhlingen|
|Charles II, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen|
|Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen|
|Countess Sophie of Waldeck|
|Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen|
|Count Georg Ludwig of Erbach-Erbach|
|Countess Sophie Albertine of Erbach-Erbach|
|Countess Amalia Katharina of Waldeck|
|Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz|
|Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt|
|Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt|
|Margravine Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach|
|Prince George William of Hesse-Darmstadt|
|Count Johann Reinhard III of Hanau|
|Countess Charlotte Christine Magdalene Johanna of Hanau|
|Countess Dorothea Friederike of Brandenburg-Ansbach|
|Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt|
|Count Johann Karl August of Leiningen-Dagsburg|
|Count Christian Karl Reinhard of Leiningen-Dagsburg|
|Countess Johanna Magdalene of Hanau-Lichtenberg|
|Maria Luise Albertine von Leiningen-Dagsburg-Falkenburg|
|Count Ludwig of Solms-Rödelheim|
|Countess Katharina Polyxena of Solms-Rödelheim|
|Charlotte Sibylla Ahlefeld, Countess of Ahlefeld|
References[change | change source]
- Clark, p. 217.
- Herold, p. 179.
- Herold, p. 180.
- Clark, p. 307.
- Clark, p. 312.
- Clark, p. 309.
- Herold, p. 188.
- Knowles Bolton, p. 58.
Sources[change | change source]
- Blackburn, Gilmer W. (1985). Education in the Third Reich: a study of race and history in Nazi textbooks. Albany: State University of New York Press.
- Chisholm, Hugh (ed.) (1911a). "Louise of Prussia". Encyclopædia Britannica (Cambridge University Press) (Eleventh ed.).
- Chisholm, Hugh (ed.) (1911b). "Frederick William III, king of Prussia". Encyclopædia Britannica (Cambridge University Press) (Eleventh ed.).
- Clark, Christopher (2006). Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Belknam Press of Harvard University Press.
- Fischer, Conan (1996). The Rise of National Socialism and the Working Classes in Weimar. Berghahn Books.
- Fisher, Todd; Gregory Fremont-Barnes and Bernhard Cornwell (2004). The Napoleonic Wars: The Rise and Fall of an Empire. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing.
- Herold, J. Christopher (2002) . The Age of Napoleon. New York: Mariner Books.
- Hudson, Elizabeth Harriot (2005a ). The Life and Times of Louisa, Queen of Prussia, Volume 1. London: Adamant Media Corporation [W. Isbister & Co]. Check date values in:
- Hudson, Elizabeth Harriot (2005b ). The Life and Times of Louisa, Queen of Prussia, Volume 2. London: Adamant Media Corporation [W. Isbister & Co]. Check date values in:
- Kluckhohn, August; Elizabeth H. Denio (translator) (1889). Louise, queen of Prussia: a memorial. Boston: Avery L. Rand.
- Knowles Bolton, Sarah (1892). Famous types of womanhood. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co.
- Maxwell Moffat, Mary (1907). Queen Louisa of Prussia. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company.
- Reagin, Nancy Ruth (1995). A German women's movement: class and gender in Hanover, 1880-1933. University of North Carolina Press.
- Simms, Brendan (1997). The Impact of Napoleon: Prussian High Politics, Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Executive, 1797-1806. Cambridge University Press.
Further reading[change | change source]
- Schulte, R. (2002). "The Queen – A Middle–Class Tragedy: The Writing of History and the Creation of Myths in Nineteenth–Century France and Germany". Gender & History 14: 266–293. doi:10.1111/1468-0424.00266.
- Wright, Constance (1969). Beautiful Enemy: A Biography of Queen Louise of Prussia. Dodd, Mead. ISBN B0006C00XY Check
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Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Louise of Prussia.|
- Louise's death mask, from the Laurence Hutton Collection
- A list of uses in literature concerning Queen Louise, found in Webster's Quotations, Facts and Phrases