Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria

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Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
File:Joseph Karl Stieler nach Robert Bussler - Königin Elisabeth Ludovika von Preussen geb-von Bayern.jpg
Queen consort of Prussia
Tenure 7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861
Born (1801-11-13)13 November 1801
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Burial Crypt of the Friedenskirche, Sanssouci Park, Potsdam[1]
Spouse Frederick William IV of Prussia
House Wittelsbach
Father Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
Mother Caroline of Baden
Religion Lutheranism[2]

Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (13 November 1801 – 14 December 1873) was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.


Early life and family

Elisabeth was born in Munich, the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his Queen Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine Margravine of Baden.[3] She was the identical twin sister of Queen Amalie of Saxony, consort of King John I of Saxony, and sister of Archduchess Sophie of Austria, mother of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico; as well as Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria, mother of Franz Josef's consort, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi), who was Elisabeth's godchild and namesake. She was known within her family as Elise.

Silk pictures with the portraits of Friedrich Wilhelm IV and his consort Elisabeth. The board frame bears the legend: "The first pictures woven in silk / made in the year 1847 in the silk weaving factory of / Wilhelm and Carl Dieckmann in Elbersfeld / and presented by the manufacturer to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV / in a special audience."


On 29 November 1823, she married the future King Frederick William IV of Prussia[3] and supported his intellectual interests, namely his attempts at artwork, which he held dear to his heart. She refused to become a Protestant as a condition of her marriage, insisting that she would only convert if she was convinced on the merits of the reformed faith after studying it for herself.[4] It was only 5 May 1830, seven years after her marriage, that Elisabeth formally converted to Protestantism.[5]

Becoming Queen consort of Prussia in 1840, she was never without influence in Prussian politics, where she was active in preserving the close friendship between Prussia and the Austrian Empire.

To Frederick William IV, she was an exemplary wife and, during his long illness, a dedicated nurse. She was initially hostile to her nephew's wife, Victoria, Princess Royal, known within the family as Vicky, but their relationship thawed when Vicky took care of Elisabeth and comforted her during the early painful days of her widowhood. Elisabeth never forgot Vicky's kindness and in her will broke with tradition by leaving Vicky her jewels. These jewels were meant to have been bequeathed to the current Queen, (Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, Elisabeth's sister-in-law, who was by then Prussian Queen and German Empress); this was an offense for which Augusta never forgave Vicky.

After her husband's death on 2 January 1861, Elisabeth lived quietly at her seats at Sanssouci, Charlottenburg, and Stolzenfels and dedicated herself to charity work in memory of her late husband. Her brother-in-law, Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany, held her in high regard as a true friend.

During a visit to her sister, Queen Amalie of Saxony, Elisabeth died in 1873 in Dresden.[3] She was buried next to her husband on 21 December at the Friedenskirche in Potsdam.[1]

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 13 November 1801 – 26 December 1805: Her Serene Highness Princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria[6]
  • 26 December 1805 – 29 November 1823: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
  • 29 November 1823 – 7 June 1840: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Prussia, Princess of Bavaria
  • 7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861: Her Majesty The Queen of Prussia
  • 2 January 1861 – 14 December 1873: Her Majesty The Queen Dowager


Family of Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
16. Christian II of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
8. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken
17. Countess Katharina Agathe of Rappoltstein
4. Count Palatine Frederick Michael of Zweibrücken
18. Louis Crato, Count of Nassau-Saarbrücken
9. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken
19. Countess Philippine Henriette of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
2. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
20. Theodore, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
10. Joseph Karl Emanuel August, Count Palatine of Sulzbach
21. Marie Eleonore of Hessen-Rheinfels
5. Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach
22. Charles III Philip, Elector Palatine
11. Countess Palatine Elizabeth Augusta Sophie of Neuburg
23. Ludwika Karolina Radziwiłł
1. Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
24. Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Baden-Durlach
12. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden
25. Princess Amalia of Nassau-Dietz
6. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
26. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
13. Landgravine Caroline Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt
27. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Müntzenberg
3. Caroline of Baden
28. Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (= 26)
14. Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
29. Countess Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Müntzenberg (= 27)
7. Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
30. Christian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken (= 8)
15. Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken
31. Countess Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken (= 9)


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  6. Genealogy of the Royal Family of Bavaria at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2009)


  • The information in this article is based on that in its German equivalent.
  • Moritz Freiherr von Bissing: Elisabeth Königin von Preußen, Berlin 1974.
  • Ludovika Hesekiel: Elisabeth Luise, Königin von Preußen (Berlin 1881).
  • Dorothea Minkels: "Porträts der preußischen Königin Elisabeth in der Sammlung des Stadtmuseums Berlin." in: Jahrbuch 2004/2005 Stadtmuseum Berlin, pg. 278–304.
  • Alfred v. Reumont: Elisabeth, Königin von Preußen (Berlin 1874)
  • Dorothea Minkels: Elisabeth von Preußen. Königin in der Zeit des AusMÄRZens. Norderstedt 2008.

External links

Media related to Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. at Wikimedia Commons

Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
Born: 13 November 1801 Died: 4 December 1873
Title last held by
Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
Queen Consort of Prussia
Succeeded by
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
Title last held by
Maria Elisabeth Franziska of Bavaria
Princess of Neuchâtel
Monarchy abolished
Neuchâtel adopts Democracy