Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
|Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria|
|Tenure||7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861|
|Spouse||Frederick William IV of Prussia|
|House||House of Wittelsbach|
|Father||Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria|
|Mother||Caroline of Baden|
|Born||13 November 1801|
|Died||14 December 1873(aged 72)|
|Burial||Crypt of the Friedenskirche, Sanssouci Park, Potsdam|
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (13 November 1801 – 14 December 1873) was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.
Early life and family
Elisabeth was born in Munich, the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his Queen Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine Margravine of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Queen Amalie of Saxony, consort of King John I of Saxony, and sister of Archduchess Sophie of Austria, mother of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico; as well as Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria, mother of Franz Josef's consort, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi), who was Elisabeth's godchild and namesake. She was known within her family as Elise.
On 29 November 1823, she married the future King Frederick William IV of Prussia and supported his intellectual interests, namely his attempts at artwork, which he held dear to his heart. She refused to become a Protestant as a condition of her marriage, insisting that she would only convert if she was convinced on the merits of the reformed faith after studying it for herself. It was only 5 May 1830, seven years after her marriage, that Elisabeth formally converted to Protestantism.
Becoming Queen consort of Prussia in 1840, she was never without influence in Prussian politics, where she was active in preserving the close friendship between Prussia and the Austrian Empire.
To Frederick William IV, she was an exemplary wife and, during his long illness, a dedicated nurse. She was initially hostile to her nephew's wife, Victoria, Princess Royal, known within the family as Vicky, but their relationship thawed when Vicky took care of Elisabeth and comforted her during the early painful days of her widowhood. Elisabeth never forgot Vicky's kindness and in her will broke with tradition by leaving Vicky her jewels. These jewels were meant to have been bequeathed to the current Queen, (Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, Elisabeth's sister-in-law, who was by then Prussian Queen and German Empress); this was an offense for which Augusta never forgave Vicky.
After her husband's death on 2 January 1861, Elisabeth lived quietly at her seats at Sanssouci, Charlottenburg, and Stolzenfels and dedicated herself to charity work in memory of her late husband. Her brother-in-law, Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany, held her in high regard as a true friend.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 13 November 1801 – 26 December 1805: Her Serene Highness Princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
- 26 December 1805 – 29 November 1823: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria
- 29 November 1823 – 7 June 1840: Her Royal Highness' Princes Elisabeth Ludovika of Prussia, Princess of Bavaria
- 7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861: Her Majesty The Queen of Prussia
- 2 January 1861 – 14 December 1873: Her Majesty The Queen Dowager
Elizabeth Ludovika's ancestors in three generations
- Dorgerloh, Hartmut, ed. (18 August 2011). "Palaces and Gardens in Potsdam: 18-Church of Peace" (PDF). Palaces and Gardens. Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg. p. 4. Retrieved 10 January 2012. "The Church of Peace was built from 1845–54, based upon Italian models. King Frederick William IV and Queen Elisabeth were laid to rest here."
- Herzfeld, Hans (2012). "Frederick William IV". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 10 January 2012. "His marriage in 1823 to Elizabeth of Bavaria, a convert to Lutheranism, proved happy, although they had no children"
- "Obituary: Elisabeth, Dowager Queen of Prussia", The New York Times, 16 December 1873
- Blankart, Michaela (sr. ed.) (2003). "Elisabeth Prinzessin von Bayern". Official Website of the House of Hohenzollern (in German). General Administration to The Royal House of Prussia. Retrieved 10 January 2012. "Allerdings galt es vor der Eheschließung noch die Einwände Friedrich Wilhelms III. zu überwinden, der den Übertritt der Prinzessin zum evangelischen Glauben gefordert hatte. Festen Willens erklärte sie ihm jedoch, dass sie lieber zu gegebener Zeit aus innerer Überzeugung konvertieren würde. Eine vierjährige unglückliche Vermählungsgeschichte mit nervenaufreibenden politischen, diplomatischen und theologischen Beratungen, die das Brautpaar nur noch enger aneinander band, mündete schließlich in einer Sinneswandlung Friedrich Wilhelms III. Unter der Voraussetzung, dass Elise nach der Eheschließung möglichst umgehend ihren Übertritt öffentlich vollziehe, gab er schließlich nach. Am 16. November 1823 wurde sie nach katholischem Ritus per procurationem in der Hofkapelle der Münchener Residenz getraut. Ende November traf sie in Berlin ein, wo man ihr einen begeisterten Empfang bereitete, der jedoch durch ein Unglück auf der Notbrücke neben der noch nicht fertiggestellten Schinkelschen Schlossbrücke überschattet wurde, bei dem 22 Menschen den Tod fanden. Dem Brautpaar, das am 29. November von Bischof Eylert in der Schlosskapelle getraut werden sollte, verschwieg man den schrecklichen Vorfall."
- Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg. "Elisabeth Ludovika von Bayern". Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg (in German). Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany: Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg. Retrieved 10 January 2012. "Auch nachdem sie am 5. Mai 1830 zur Freude des Königs ihre Konversion vollzogen hatte, wurde ihr immer wieder nachgesagt, sie sei heimlich Katholikin geblieben und beeinflusse ihren Gemahl in dieser Richtung; Gerüchte, die der Wahrheit völlig entbehrten."
- Genealogy of the Royal Family of Bavaria
- The information in this article is based on that in its German equivalent.
- Moritz Freiherr von Bissing: Elisabeth Königin von Preußen, Berlin 1974.
- Ludovika Hesekiel: Elisabeth Luise, Königin von Preußen (Berlin 1881).
- Dorothea Minkels: "Porträts der preußischen Königin Elisabeth in der Sammlung des Stadtmuseums Berlin." in: Jahrbuch 2004/2005 Stadtmuseum Berlin, pg. 278–304.
- Alfred v. Reumont: Elisabeth, Königin von Preußen (Berlin 1874)
- Dorothea Minkels: Elisabeth von Preußen. Königin in der Zeit des AusMÄRZens. Norderstedt 2008.
Media related to Elisabeth Ludovika von Bayern at Wikimedia Commons
Elisabeth Ludovika of BavariaBorn: 13 November 1801 Died: 4 December 1873
Title last held byLouise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
|Queen Consort of Prussia
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
Title last held byMaria Elisabeth Franziska of Bavaria
|Princess of Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel adopts Democracy