Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Photograph by Ludwig Angerer
|Grand Duke of Luxembourg|
|Reign||23 November 1890 – 17 November 1905|
|Duke of Nassau|
|Reign||20 August 1839 – 20 September 1866|
24 July 1817|
Biebrich Palace, Wiesbaden
|Died||17 November 1905
Schloss Hohenburg, Lenggries
|Burial||Schlosskirche ("Castle Church") in Weilburg since 1953|
|Spouse||Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia
Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau
|Issue||William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Hilda, Grand Duchess of Baden
|Father||Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau|
|Mother||Princess Louise of Saxe-Hildburghausen|
Duke of Nassau
Adolphe became Duke of Nassau in August 1839, after the death of his father. Wiesbaden had by this time become the capital of the Duchy and Adolphe took up residence in the newly constructed Stadtschloss in 1841. On 4 March 1848 he consented to the population of Nassau's 9 "Demands of the Nassauers". A few years later, however, he revoked his liberal views and took a strongly conservative and reactionary course. In general, though, he was seen as a popular ruler. He supported the Austrian Empire in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. After Austria's defeat, Nassau was annexed to the Kingdom of Prussia and he lost his throne on 20 September 1866.
Grand Duke of Luxembourg
In 1879, Adolphe's niece Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont, the daughter of another of his half-sisters, married William III, King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg. In 1890, their only daughter Wilhelmina succeeded on his death without surviving male issue to the Dutch throne, but was excluded from the succession to Luxembourg by Salic Law. The Grand Duchy, which had been linked to the Netherlands in personal union since 1815, passed to Adolphe in accordance with the Nassau Family Pact. Adolphe was King-Grand Duke William III's 17th cousin once removed through male line, which is the greatest distance over which a crown was inherited.
He had, in fact, taken over the regency of Luxembourg for a short time during William III's illness.
In any case, as he was already 73 years old and knew little of Luxembourgish politics, he left his hands off the day-to-day governing. The prime minister Paul Eyschen, in office since 1888, took care of the affairs of state, and this created a tradition that the ruler would remain absent from the politics of the day. In 1902 Adolphe appointed his son William as Lieutenant-Representative. He died in 1905 at his summer home, Schloss Hohenburg in Lenggries, and in 1953 was buried in the crypt of the Weilburg castle chapel.
Marriage and family
On 31 January 1844, Adolphe married firstly in St. Petersburg Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna of Russia, niece of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia. She died less than a year afterwards giving birth to a stillborn daughter. Adolphe built the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Elizabeth 1847 to 1855 as her funeral church.
- William IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1852–1912)
- Prince Friedrich Paul Wilhelm of Nassau (Biebrich, 23 September 1854 – Biebrich, 23 October 1855)
- Princess Marie Bathildis Wilhelmine Charlotte of Nassau (Biebrich, 14 November 1857 – Biebrich, 28 December 1857)
- Prince Franz Joseph Wilhelm of Nassau (Biebrich, 30 January 1859 – Vienna, 2 April 1875)
- Princess Hilda Charlotte Wilhelmine (1864–1952), married Friedrich II, Grand Duke of Baden.
In 1892, Grand Duke Adolphe conferred the hereditary title Count of Wisborg on his Swedish nephew, Oscar, who had lost his Swedish titles after marrying without his father's approval. Wisborg (also spelled Visborg) was the old castle in the city of Visby within Prince Oscar's lost Dukedom of Gotland, but the title itself was created in the nobility of Luxembourg.
On April 20, 1842, the Adelsverein, Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, was organized in the Grand Duke's castle at Biebrich on the Rhine. He was named the Protector of the organization. The Verein was responsible for the large emigration of Germans to Texas in the 19th Century, and on January 9, 1843, established the 4,428 acre Nassau Plantation in Fayette County, Texas and named it after the Grand Duke.
Titles, styles, and Arms
- 24 July 1817 – 20 August 1839: His Highness The Hereditary Duke of Nassau[a]
- 20 August 1839 – 20 September 1866: His Highness The Duke of Nassau[a]
- 20 September 1866 – 23 November 1890: His Highness Adolphe, Duke of Nassau
- 23 November 1890 – 17 November 1905: His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Duke of Nassau[b]
Coat of arms of Adolphe, 1890 - 1898
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Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Cadet branch of the House of NassauBorn: 24 July 1817 Died: 17 November 1905
|Duke of Nassau
|Annexation by Prussia|
|Grand Duke of Luxembourg