Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

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Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein
Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.jpg
Tenure 11 March 1869 – 14 January 1880
Born (1835-07-20)20 July 1835
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Spouse Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein
Issue Friedrich, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Augusta Victoria, German Empress and Queen of Prussia
Karoline Mathilde, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Gerhard , Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
Ernst Gunther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein
Louise, Princess Friedrich Leopold of Prussia
Feodora Adelheid, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg
House House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Father Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Mother Princess Feodora of Leiningen

Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (July 20, 1835 – January 25, 1900) was a niece of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. She was the second daughter of Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Feodora of Leiningen, older half-sister of the British queen. She is a matrillineal ancestor of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Felipe VI of Spain.

Napoleon III's proposal of marriage

In 1852, not long after Napoléon III became Emperor of France, he made a proposal of marriage to Adelheid's parents after he had been rebuffed by Princess Carola of Sweden. Although he had never met her, the political advantages of the marriage for the Emperor were obvious. It would provide dynastic respectability for the Bonaparte line, and could promote a closer alliance between France and Britain, because Adelheid was Queen Victoria's niece. At the same time, she was not officially a member of the British royal family, so the risk of refusal was small. Adelheid could be expected to be grateful enough for her good fortune to convert to Roman Catholicism.

As it turned out, the proposal horrified Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who preferred not to confer such hasty legitimacy upon France's latest "revolutionary" regime — the durability of which was deemed dubious — nor to yield up a young kinswoman for the purpose. The British court maintained a strict silence toward the Hohenlohes during the marriage negotiations, lest the Queen seem either eager for or repulsed by the prospect of Napoléon as a nephew-in-law.

The parents, accurately interpreting the British silence as disapproval, declined the French offer—to their sixteen-year-old daughter's dismay. This may have been only a maneuver by the Hohenlohes to obtain concessions from the French to secure their daughter's future interests. But before his ministers could press his case with further inducements, Napoléon gave up pursuit of a royal consort. Instead he offered marriage to Eugénie de Montijo, Countess of Teba, whom he had been simultaneously soliciting to become his mistress, and who had refused his advances.[1]

Marriage and children

On September 11, 1856 Adelheid married Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein.[2] They were parents to seven children:


With her husband, the Duchess first resided at Dolzig, in Nieder Lausitz, but in 1863 moved to Kiel when Duke Frederick became legitimate heir to the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. They returned to Dolzig only three years later, when after the Austrian-Prussian War the duchies were annexed by Prussia. In the following years the couple alternated between Dolzig, Gotha, an the family domains at Primkenau. Duke Frederick died in 1880, shortly before the couple's eldest daughter was engaged to the Prussian heir. After the marriage in February 1881, Duchess Adelheid settled in Dresden, where she lived a retired life, interesting herself chiefly in painting an music.[3]

The Duchess died at Dresden on 25 January 1900.[3]

A small island in Franz Josef Land, Adelaide Island (Остров Аделаиды), was named after Princess Adelheid by the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition.


Family of Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
16. Ludwig, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
8. Christian Albert, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
17. Countess Eleonore of Nassau-Saarbrücken
4. Charles Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
18. Friedrich Karl, Prince of Stolberg-Gedern
9. Princess Caroline of Stolberg-Gedern
19. Countess Louise of Nassau-Saarbrücken
2. Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
20. Johann Carl, Count of Solms-Baruth
10. Johann Christian II, Count of Solms-Baruth
21. Countess Luise of Lippe-Biesterfeld
5. Countess Amalie Henriette of Solms-Baruth
22. Heinrich VI, Count Reuss of Köstritz
11. Countess Friederike Luise Reuss of Köstritz
23. Anna Françoise Henriette Louise de Casado
1. Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
24. Friedrich Magnus, Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg
12. Carl, Prince of Leiningen
25. Countess Anna of Wurmbrand-Stuppach
6. Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen
26. Wilhelm, Count of Solms-Rödelheim and Assenheim
13. Countess Christiane of Solms-Rödelheim and Assenheim
27. Countess Maria Anna of Wurmbrand-Stuppach
3. Princess Feodora of Leiningen
28. Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
14. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
29. Duchess Sophie Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
7. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
30. Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf
15. Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
31. Countess Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg


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  3. 3.0 3.1 "Obituary - The Duchess Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein" The Times (London). Friday, 26 January 1900. (36049), p. 10.