Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ernest Augustus
Ernstaugusthannover.jpg
Duke of Brunswick
Reign 1 November 1913 – 8 November 1918
Predecessor William VIII
Successor Monarchy abolished
Head of the House of Hanover
Pretence 14 November 1923 – 30 January 1953
Predecessor Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover
Successor Ernest Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
Born (1887-11-17)17 November 1887
Penzing, Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 30 January 1953(1953-01-30) (aged 65)
Marienburg Castle, Hanover, Lower Saxony, West Germany
Burial 1 February 1953
Berggarten Mausoleum, Hanover, Lower Saxony, West Germany
Spouse Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia
Issue Ernest Augustus, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
Prince George William
Frederica, Queen of the Hellenes
Prince Christian Oscar
Prince Welf Henry
Full name
Ernest Augustus Christian George
German: Ernst August Christian Georg
House Hanover
Father Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover
Mother Princess Thyra of Denmark

Ernest Augustus (Ernest Augustus Christian George; German: Ernst August Christian Georg; 17 November 1887 – 30 January 1953) was the reigning Duke of Brunswick from 2 November 1913 to 8 November 1918. He was a grandson of George V of Hanover, whom the Prussians had deposed from the Hanoverian throne in 1866, and Christian IX of Denmark.

Early life[edit]

Ernest Augustus was born at Penzing near Vienna, the sixth and youngest child of former Crown Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover and his wife, Princess Thyra of Denmark. His great-grandfather, Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the fifth son of George III of the United Kingdom, became king of Hanover in 1837 because Salic Law barred Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, from inheriting the Hanoverian throne.

His father succeeded as pretender to the Hanoverian throne and as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale in the peerage of Great Britain in 1878. The younger Ernest August became heir apparent to the dukedom of Cumberland and to the Hanoverian claim upon the deaths of his two elder brothers, George and Christian. Through his mother, he was a first cousin of George V of the United Kingdom, Nicholas II of Russia, Christian X of Denmark, Haakon VII of Norway, and Constantine I of Greece.

In 1884, the reigning Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, a distant cousin, died. Since the younger branch of the House of Guelph ended with him, under house rules it would have passed to the Duke of Cumberland, who immediately claimed the throne. However, the Imperial Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, managed to get the Federal Council (Bundesrat) of the German Empire to rule that the Duke of Cumberland would disturb the peace of the empire if he ascended the throne of Brunswick. Bismarck did this because the duke had never formally renounced his claims to the kingdom of Hanover, which had been annexed to Prussia in 1866 following the end of the Austro-Prussian War (Hanover had sided with losing Austria). Instead, Prince Albrecht of Prussia became the regent of Brunswick. After Prince Albrecht's death in 1906, the duke offered that he and his elder son, Prince George, would renounce their claims to the Duchy in order to allow Ernest Augustus, his only other surviving son, to take possession of the Duchy, but this option was rejected by the Bundesrat and the regency continued, this time under Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who had previously acted as regent for his nephew in Mecklenburg.

Marriage and accession to the duchy of Brunswick[edit]

Ernstbrunswick1887-2.jpeg

When Ernest Augustus's older brother George died in an automobile accident on 20 May 1912, the German Emperor sent a message of condolence to the Duke of Cumberland. In response to this friendly gesture, the Duke sent his only surviving son, Ernest Augustus, to Berlin to thank the Emperor for his message. Ernest Augustus and the German Emperor were third cousins through George III of the United Kingdom. In Berlin, Ernest Augustus met and fell in love with the Emperor William II's only daughter, Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia.

On 24 May 1913, Ernest Augustus and Victoria Louise, third cousins once removed through descent from George III's sons King Ernest Augustus of Hanover and Edward, Duke of Kent, were married to each other. This marriage ended the decades-long rift between the Houses of Hohenzollern and Hanover. The wedding of Prince Ernest Augustus and Princess Victoria Louise was also the last great gathering of European sovereigns before the outbreak of the Great War. In addition to the German Emperor and Empress and the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom and Tsar Nicholas II attended. Upon the announcement of his betrothal to Princess Victoria Louise in February 1913, Ernest Augustus took an oath of loyalty to the German Emperor and accepted a commission as a cavalry captain and company commander in the Zieten–Hussars, a Prussian Army regiment in which his grandfather (George V) and great-grandfather (Ernst August) had been colonels. Two imprisoned British spies Captain Stewart and Captain Trench, were pardoned and released by the German Emperor as a wedding present to the United Kingdom.[1] King George V of the United Kingdom gave his consent to the marriage on 17 March 1913, as required by the Royal Marriages Act.[2]

On 27 October 1913, the Duke of Cumberland formally renounced his claims to the duchy of Brunswick in favor of his surviving son. The following day, the Federal Council voted to allow Ernest Augustus to become the reigning Duke of Brunswick. The new Duke of Brunswick formally took possession of his duchy on 1 November. He received a promotion to colonel in the Zieten–Hussars.

During the First World War, Ernest Augustus rose to the rank of major-general.

Abdication and later life[edit]

In 1917, the British dukedom of Ernest Augustus's father, and his own title as a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, were suspended by the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, as a result of the Duke's service in the German army during the war. On 8 November 1918, Ernest Augustus was forced to abdicate his throne, as were all the other German kings, grand dukes, dukes, and princes. Thus, when his father died in 1923, Ernest Augustus did not succeed to his father's title of Duke of Cumberland. For the next thirty years, Ernest Augustus would remain as head of the House of Hanover, living in retirement on his various estates. By the time the Second World War ended in Europe in April 1945, he and his family were living at Blankenburg Castle.[3]

Mausoleum at Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover

He lived to see one of his children become a consort to a monarch – in 1947 his daughter Frederica became Queen of the Hellenes when her husband Prince Paul of Greece and Denmark succeeded his brother as King. The Duke of Brunswick is also the maternal grandfather of Queen Sophia of Spain and the former King Constantine II of Greece.

Ernest Augustus died at Marienburg Castle in 1953. He was interred, later to be joined by the remains of his wife, in front of the Royal Mausoleum in the Berggarten at Herrenhausen Gardens in Hanover, which is the burial chapel of King Ernest Augustus of Hanover and his wife. After the destruction of the former Leine Palace during the Second World War, the remains of the Duke's ancestors King George I of Great Britain and his parents were also moved to the mausoleum.

Issue[edit]

The Duke and Duchess of Brunswick had five children:[4]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Under settled practice dating to 1714, as a male-line descendant of George III, Crown Prince Ernst August of Hanover also held the title of Prince of Great Britain and Ireland with the style of Highness.[5]

As mentioned previously, the Titles Deprivation Act 1917 (passed in 1919) stripped Ernst August III of his British titles for having taken up arms against the UK in the First World War. Within the UK, he was no longer recognized as a "Prince of Great Britain and Ireland." Upon his father's death in 1923 (the 3rd Duke of Cumberland also having been stripped of his titles), Ernst August III could not ascend as the 4th Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale or Earl of Armagh. Today, the titles remain "suspended," though there is an heir.

Honours[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emmerson 2013, p. 13
  2. ^ The London Gazette, Issue 28700, p. 2053
  3. ^ MacDonogh 2007, p. 75.
  4. ^ By Royal Warrant of 17 June 1914, George V granted the eldest son and any children thereafter born to Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, then reigning Duke of Brunswick, the title of Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland with the style Highness. The provisions of this Royal Warrant ceased with George V's Letters Patent of 30 November 1917, and Hanoverian princes and princesses born after this date were no longer allowed the title Prince of Great Britain and Ireland with the style Highness. However, in 1931, the former Duke of Brunswick, as head of the House of Hanover and the senior male-line descendant of George III, issued a decree stating that the members of the former Hanoverian royal family would continue to bear the title of Prince (or Princess) of Great Britain and Ireland with the style of Royal Highness. This decree had no legal effect in the United Kingdom, although no British sovereigns since have attempted to stop this practice on the part of the former Hanoverian royal family. The members of the House of Hanover continued to seek the British sovereign's approval when they married, in accordance with the Royal Marriages Act 1772. In 1999, prior to the wedding of Ernest Augustus, Prince of Hanover (b. 1954) to Princess Caroline of Monaco, the couple received official consent from the reigning British monarch, Elizabeth II. The 1772 act was repealed on 26 March 2015 in accordance with the Perth Agreement.
  5. ^ In the Court Circular printed in The Times and in the London Gazette, he was frequently styled Prince Ernest Augustus of Cumberland.
  6. ^ Ruvigny, Melville Henry Massue, 9th Marquis of. Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage, London: Harrison & Sons, 1914. p. 56
  7. ^ Ruvigny, p. 56
  8. ^ Ruvigny, p. 56
  9. ^ Ruvigny, p. 56
  10. ^ Ruvigny, p. 56

Sources[edit]

  • Succession Laws in the House of Braunschweig, by François R. Velde
  • Emmerson, Charles (2013). 1913: The World before the Great War (2013 ed.). Random House. ISBN 9781448137329. - Total pages: 544
Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 17 November 1887 Died: 30 January 1953
Regnal titles
Vacant
Ernest Augustus unrecognized
Title last held by
William
Duke of Brunswick
2 November 1913 – 8 November 1918
Vacant
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
— TITULAR —
Duke of Brunswick
8 November 1918 – 30 January 1953
Reason for succession failure:
German Revolution
Succeeded by
Ernest Augustus (IV)
Preceded by
Ernest Augustus (II)
— TITULAR —
King of Hanover
14 November 1923 – 30 January 1953
Reason for succession failure:
Austro-Prussian War
— TITULAR —
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
14 November 1923 – 30 January 1953
Reason for succession failure:
Titles Deprivation Act 1917