Armgard of Sierstorpff-Cramm
|Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm|
|Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld|
|Princess Armgard in 1968|
|Spouse||Prince Bernhard of Lippe|
|Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands
|German: Armgard Kunigunde Alharde Agnes Oda|
|House||House of Lippe|
|Father||Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm|
|Mother||Hedwig von Sierstorpff-Driburg|
18 December 1883|
Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia
|Died||27 April 1971
Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm (German: Armgard Kunigunde Alharda Agnes Oda von Cramm; 18 December 1883 – 27 April 1971) was the mother of Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, Prince consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
Armgard was born at Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia (now in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), fourth child and daughter of Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm (1846–1909), and his wife, Hedwig von Sierstorpff-Driburg (1848–1900).
Armgard married in 24 October 1905 at Hanover to Count Bodo von Oeynhausen (1881–1909), an officer in the 8th Hussars in Paderborn, son of Count Erich von Oeynhausen and his wife, Therese von Lenthe. They divorced in 1908 and had no children.
Armgard married secondly 4 March 1909 at Oelber, Brunswick to Prince Bernhard of Lippe (1872–1934), a younger son of Ernest II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, regent (1897–1904) of the Principality of Lippe, and Countess Karoline von Wartensleben. The marriage was then considered morganatic. Thus, Armgard was created "Countess of Biesterfeld" (German: Gräfin von Biesterfeld) on 8 February 1909.
They had two sons:
- Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (29 June 1911 – 1 December 2004), married in 1937 to Juliana of the Netherlands, had issue.
- Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld (13 June 1914 – 14 May 1988), married in 1951 to Simone Arnoux, no issue.
On 24 February 1916 she was made "Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld" (German: Prinzessin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld) with the style Serene Highness by Leopold IV, Prince of Lippe, and this title was extended to her two sons.
World War II
After the death of her husband in 1934, Armgard managed an estate in Reckenwalde, Province of Brandenburg (now Wojnowo, Poland), together with her partner Alexis Pantchoulidzew. Alexis accompanied Armgard to the wedding of Bernhard to Princess Juliana.
During World War II Armgard and Alexis were observed by the local Gestapo. Her apolitical past and the service that the monarchist and anti-Stalinist Colonel Pantchoulidzew later rendered in the war to the German Reich Railway, would have shielded her from Nazi authorities. The SS demanded in September 1944 in Recke, one of Armgard's properties, Schloss Woynowo Walde for military purposes. Armgard and Alexis gave an account of the withdrawal in 1945 of the Wehrmacht behind the Oder-line on their estate at Neumark.
Various writers[who?] have accused Armgard of sexual promiscuity, intrigue, conspiracy, and – as with her son Aschwin – of Nazi sympathies. In March 2004, her son Bernhard tried to rectify this image with an open letter to The Times.
Life in the Netherlands
She lived from early 1952 with her partner Alexis Pantchoulidzew in House Warmelo at Diepenheim. Alexis went on to be the Netherlands' sole representative at the 1956 Summer Olympics, competing in dressage.
Armgard died in Diepenheim at the age of 87.
Titles and styles
- 18 December 1883 – 24 October 1905: Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm
- 24 October 1905 – 1908: Countess Armgard von Oeynhausen
- 1908 – 4 March 1909: Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm
- 4 March 1909 – 24 February 1916: Countess Armgard von Biesterfeld
- 24 February 1916 – 27 April 1971: Her Serene Highness Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
|Ancestors of Armgard of Sierstorpff-Cramm|
- Almanach de Gotha. Gotha, Germany: Justus Perthes. 1944. pp. 74, 76.
- Jurryt van de Vooren (20 March 2013) Koningshuis wankelde tijdens de Olympische Ruiterspelen van 1956. sportgeschiedenis.nl
- Genealogics – Leo van de Pas – Armgard von Cramm, Princess zur Lippe-Biesterfeld
- thePeerage.com – Armgard von Cramm
- Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Reference