Marie Elisabeth, Abbess of Quedlinburg

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Princess-Abbess Marie Elisabeth

Duchess Marie Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (21 March 1678 – 17 July 1755) was Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg from 1718 until her death.

Duchess Marie Elisabeth was born in Hamburg as the youngest child of Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, and his wife, Princess Frederica Amalia of Denmark. She was considered for marriage to Charles XII of Sweden, but he declined.

In 1718, she was elected Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg. However, the Kings in Prussia, who obtained the guardianship of the abbey-principality as electors of Brandenburg in 1698, tried to impose their authority over this small state of the Holy Roman Empire by attempting to influence the election of new princess-abbess in favour of their own relatives. Marie Elisabeth was elected several times during the interregnum, while the abbey-principality was ruled by the provost Maria Aurora von Königsmarck, but King Frederick William I of Prussia refused to consent to each election and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI consequently refused to confirm the elections. The election, however, eventually went ahead but the selection of a duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp instead than a princess of Prussia caused quite a stir. Due to her territorial disputes with the King in Prussia, Marie Elisabeth turned to the Holy Roman Emperor, but without success.

As the ruler, Princess-Abbess Marie Elisabeth restored the castle, the abbey and the Abbey Church of St. Servatius, where she was buried upon her death in Quedlinburg. After her death, a princess of Prussia was finally elected and Marie Elisabeth was succeeded by Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia.


Marie Elisabeth's ancestors in three generations
Marie Elisabeth, Abbess of Quedlinburg Father:
Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
Paternal grandfather:
Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
Paternal great-grandfather:
John Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp
Paternal great-grandmother:
Augusta of Denmark
Paternal grandmother:
Marie Elisabeth of Saxony
Paternal great-grandfather:
John George I, Elector of Saxony
Paternal great-grandmother:
Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia
Frederica Amalia of Denmark
Maternal grandfather:
Frederick III of Denmark
Maternal great-grandfather:
Christian IV of Denmark
Maternal great-grandmother:
Anne Catherine of Brandenburg
Maternal grandmother:
Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Maternal Great-grandfather:
George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Maternal great-grandmother:
Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt


  • H. Lorenz: Werdegang von Stift und Stadt Quedlinburg. Quedlinburg 1922.

External links[edit]

Marie Elisabeth
Cadet branch of the House of Oldenburg
Regnal titles
Office of provost held by
Maria Aurora von Königsmarck
Title last held by
Anna Dorothea
Princess-Abbess of Quedlinburg
Succeeded by
Anna Amalia