Armgard von Cramm

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Armgard von Cramm
Countess Bodo von Oeynhausen
Princess Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Armgard of Sierstorpff-Cramm 1964.jpg
Princess Armgard in 1964
Born(1883-12-18)18 December 1883
Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia
Died27 April 1971(1971-04-27) (aged 87)
Diepenheim, Netherlands
SpouseCount Bodo von Oeynhausen
Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld
IssueBernhard, Prince Consort of the Netherlands
Prince Aschwin of Lippe-Biesterfeld
Full name
German: Armgard Kunigunde Alharde Agnes Oda
HouseHouse of Lippe
FatherBaron Aschwin of Sierstorpff-Cramm
MotherBaroness Hedwig of Sierstorpff-Driburg

Armgard von 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.

Early life[edit]

Armgard was born at Bad Driburg, Kingdom of Prussia (now in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany),[1] fourth child and daughter of Baron Aschwin von Sierstorpff-Cramm (1846–1909), and his wife, Baroness Hedwig von Sierstorpff-Driburg (1848–1900).


Armgard married on 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-Biesterfeld (1872–1934), a younger son of Ernest II, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld, regent (1897–1904) of the Principality of Lippe, and his wife, Countess Karoline of Wartensleben. The marriage was then considered morganatic. Thus, Armgard was created "Countess of Biesterfeld" (German: Gräfin von Biesterfeld) on 8 February 1909.[1]

They had two sons:[1]

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.[1]

World War II[edit]

After the death of her husband in 1934, Armgard managed a castle and an estate in Reckenwalde, Province of Brandenburg (now Wojnowo, Poland), together with her partner Alexis Pantchoulidzew.[2] Alexis accompanied Armgard to the wedding of Bernhard to Princess Juliana.

During World War II Armgard and Alexis were observed by the local Gestapo.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] In March 2004, her son Bernhard tried to rectify this image with an open letter to The Times.

Life in the Netherlands[edit]

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.[2] Alexis Pantchoulidzew died in 1968.

Armgard died on 27 April 1971 in House Warmelo in Diepenheim at the age of 87.



  1. ^ a b c d Almanach de Gotha. Gotha, Germany: Justus Perthes. 1944. pp. 74, 76.
  2. ^ a b Jurryt van de Vooren (20 March 2013) Koningshuis wankelde tijdens de Olympische Ruiterspelen van 1956.

Further reading[edit]