Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf

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Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Augusta di Reuss-Ebersdorf, duchessa di Sassonia-Coburgo-Saalfeld.jpg
Tenure 1800–1806
Spouse Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Princess Sophie, Countess von Mensdorff-Pouilly
Princess Antoinette, Duchess Alexander of Württemberg
Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Prince Ferdinand
Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn
Leopold I of Belgium
Full name
Augusta Caroline Sophie
House House of Wettin
House of Reuss
Father Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf
Mother Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg
Born (1757-01-19)19 January 1757
Died 16 November 1831(1831-11-16) (aged 74)

Countess (later Princess) Augusta Caroline Sophie Reuss of Ebersdorf (German: Gräfin Reuß zu Ebersdorf) (19 January 1757 – 16 November 1831), was by marriage a duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was born in Saalburg-Ebersdorf. She was the maternal grandmother of Queen Victoria and the paternal grandmother of Albert, Prince Consort.


She was the second of seven children of Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf and his wife Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg. Her birthplace, Ebersdorf, was a center of Pietism in Thuringia and Augusta's grandparents were ardent admirers of this religious movement. Augusta's great-aunt Countess Erdmuthe Dorothea, by marriage Countess of Zinzendorf was married to the founder of the Moravian Church. This background explains the deep religious feelings of Princess Augusta in later years.


Augusta was one of the most beautiful women of her time. Her father commissioned a portrait of Augusta as Artemisia by the painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. Count Heinrich XXIV showed this painting during the Perpetual Diet so potential marriage candidates were aware of his beautiful daughter.

In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777 Augusta married Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Duke Franz previously acquired the Artemisia painting for four times the original price because he was deeply in love with Augusta, but he had to marry a relative, Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Princess Sophie died seven months after the wedding, so the Duke was free to pursue the hand of his beloved.

During her marriage, Augusta bore her husband ten children; some of them played important roles in European history: Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and King Leopold I of Belgium.


  1. Princess Sophie of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Countess von Mensdorff-Pouilly
  2. Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  3. Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia
  4. Stillborn son
  5. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  6. Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
  7. Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn
  8. Princess Marianne
  9. Leopold I of Belgium
  10. Prince Francis Maximilian

Notable descendants[edit]

Countess Augusta is the grandmother of many notable monarchs of Europe, including both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (through her mother Victoria) and her husband, Prince Albert (through his father Ernst), King Consort of Portugal Ferdinand II (through his father Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and also Empress Carlota of Mexico and her brother Leopold II of Belgium (through their father Leopold I who was elected King of the Belgians on 26 June 1831.)

Elevation to Princess[edit]

The House of Reuss became princes on 9 April 1806, and all the surviving members of the Ebersdorf-Lobenstein line (including Augusta) bore the title Prince(ss) Reuss of Ebersdorf (German: Fürst/Fürstin Reuß zu Ebersdorf, Jüngere Linie) . Augusta died in Coburg on 16 November 1831, aged seventy-four, five months after the election of her son Leopold as King of the Belgians.



  • Gertraude Bachmann: Natur und Kunst in den Reisetagebüchern der Herzogin Auguste Caroline Sophie von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (text of the lecture from the 175th anniversary of Duchess Augusta's death on 16 November 2006 at the Naturkunde-Museum Coburg), Coburg 2006.
Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Cadet branch of the House of Reuss
Born: 19 January 1757 Died: 16 November 1831
German royalty
Preceded by
Sophia Antonia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
8 September 1800 – 9 December 1806
Title next held by
Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg