Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate

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Benedicta Henrietta of Hanover
Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
BenediktaHenrietteSimmBraunschw.JPG
Spouse John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Issue
Charlotte, Duchess of Modena
Wilhelmine, Holy Roman Empress
Father Prince Palatine Edward
Mother Anna Gonzaga
Born (1652-03-14)14 March 1652
Paris, France
Died 12 August 1730(1730-08-12) (aged 78)
Braunschweiger Schloss, Hanover, Germany

Princess Palatine Benedicta Henrietta (Benedicta Henrietta Philippina; 14 March 1652 – 12 August 1730) was a German princess, the third and youngest daughter of Prince Palatine Edward and his French wife, the political hostess Anna Gonzaga. Benedicta became the Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or of Hanover, by her marriage to Duke John Frederick. She was an ancestor of Louis XVI of France and Philippe Égalité', as well as several European monarchs of the 21st century.

Early life[edit]

Born in Paris to the landless Prince Palatine Edward, Bénédicte Henriette's paternal grandparents were Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen. Her maternal grandparents were Charles I, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat and his French wife Catherine de Guise, daughter of Charles de Lorraine-Guise, Duke of Mayenne. She was the youngest of three daughters.

Bénédicte was reared by Louise de La Fayette, a courtier-turned-nun known as Sister Louise-Angélique.[1]

Marriage and later life[edit]

She was married at the age of sixteen to a distant cousin, John Frederick, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who was the same age as her father, and childless. They were married on 30 November 1668. The union, which had been arranged by the French diplomatist Gourville[2] produced four daughters.

John Frederick died in 1679 without a male heir, and the duchy of Brunswick was inherited by his Protestant younger brother, Ernest Augustus, the husband of Sophia of Hanover and father of George I of Great Britain. After her husband's death, Benedicta returned to her native France and resided there with her sister, the princess of Condé.

She corresponded with Gottfried Leibniz.[3] Benedicta died the age of 78, at Asnieres, her late sister's residence near Paris, on 12 August 1730.

Issue[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 14 March 1652 – 30 November 1668 Countess Palatine Benedicta of Simmern
  • 30 November 1668 – 18 December 1679 Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
  • 18 December 1679 – 12 August 1730 Her Serene Highness the Dowager Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bougaud, 258
  2. ^ Littell's living age, Volume 166
  3. ^ State papers and correspondence: illustrative of the social and political... By John Mitchell Kemble, p. 224

Sources[edit]

  • Bougaud, Emile. St. Chantal and the Foundation of the Visitation. Vol. 2. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1895. Google Books. Web.
German nobility
Preceded by
Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
1668–1679
Served alongside: Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Vacant
Title next held by
Sophia of Hanover