Frederick Augustus III of Saxony
|Frederick Augustus III|
|King of Saxony|
|Reign||15 October 1904 – 13 November 1918|
|Spouse||Archduchess Louise of Austria|
|Issue||Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony
Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen
Prince Ernst Heinrich
Princess Maria Alix Karola
Princess Margarete Karola
Princess Maria Alix Luitpolda
|House||House of Wettin|
|Father||George of Saxony|
|Mother||Maria Anna of Portugal|
25 May 1865|
|Died||18 February 1932
Frederick Augustus served in the Royal Saxon Army before becoming king, and later was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. Though well-loved by his subjects, he voluntarily abdicated as king on 13 November 1918, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I. He died in Sibyllenort (now Szczodre) in Lower Silesia and was buried in Dresden.
Frederick Augustus entered the Royal Saxon Army in 1877 as a second lieutenant, despite being only twelve years old. Given his royal status, he advanced rapidly through the ranks. He served initially with the Royal Saxon 1. (Leib-) Grenadier Regiment Nr. 100. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1883, captain in 1887, major in 1889 and lieutenant colonel in 1891. By 1891, he was commander of the 1st Battalion of Schützen (Füsilier)-Regiment Nr. 108. He was promoted to colonel on 22 September 1892 and took command of the Schützen (Füsilier)-Regiment Nr. 108 on the same day. On 20 September 1894, the 29-year-old prince was promoted to Generalmajor and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Brigade Nr. 45 (Saxon higher units usually bore two numbers: one their Saxon Army number and the other their number in the Prussian Army order of battle). On 22 May 1898, he was promoted to Generalleutnant and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Division Nr. 23. He commanded this division until 26 August 1902, when he took command of the XII (1st Royal Saxon) Corps. He was promoted to General der Infanterie one month later, on 24 September. He remained in command of the corps until October 1904, when he became king. His military career effectively ended with his accession to the throne, but he was promoted subsequently to Generaloberst and then to Generalfeldmarschall (on 9 September 1912).
Frederick Augustus married Archduchess Luise, Princess of Tuscany, in Vienna on 21 November 1891. They were divorced in 1903 by the royal decree of the King after she ran away while pregnant with her last child. Luise's flight from Dresden was due to her father-in-law threatening to have her interned in Sonnestein Mental Asylum for life. Her brother supported her in her wish to escape Saxony. Emperor Franz-Josef of Austria-Hungary did not recognise the divorce.
They had seven children:
- Friedrich August Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony (1893–1943). After becoming a Jesuit priest, he renounced his rights in 1923. He was allegedly assassinated by the SS or Gestapo in 1943.
- Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen, Duke of Saxony (1893–1968). Married Princess Elisabeth Helene of Thurn and Taxis (1903–1976) and had issue.
- Ernst Heinrich (1896–1971). Married first Princess Sophie of Luxembourg (1902–1941), daughter of Guillaume IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, in 1921 and second Virginia Dulon (1910–2002) in 1947 (morganatically). Had issue with Sophie.
- Maria Alix Carola, stillborn 22 August 1898
- Margarete Carola Wilhelmine (1900–1962). Married Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern (1891–1965).
- Maria Alix Luitpolda (1901–1990). Married Franz Joseph, Prince of Hohenzollern-Emden (1891–1964).
- Anna Monika Pia (1903–1976). Married firstly Archduke Joseph Franz of Austria (1895–1957) and secondly Reginald Kazanjian (1905–1990).
Their two eldest sons, Friedrich August and Friedrich Christian were born in the same year, 1893, but were not twins. Friedrich August was born in January, while Friedrich Christian was born in December.
- When standing in uniform on a station platform, a lady asked him to move her trunk. He is reported to have replied, "Madam, I am not a porter; I only look like one."
- When the German Republic was proclaimed in 1918, he was asked by telephone whether he would abdicate willingly. He said: "Oh, well, I suppose I'd better."
- Upon abdicating, he is supposed to have said "Nu da machd doch eiern Drägg alleene!" (Saxon for "Well then do your sh... by yourselves!"), but there is no documentation of this.
- When cheered by a crowd in a railroad station several years after his abdication, he stuck his head out of the train's window and shouted, "You're a fine lot of republicans, I'll say!"
Decorations and awards
Frederick Augustus was Grand Master of the following Saxon Orders:
- Order of the Rue Crown
- Military Order of St. Henry
- Albert Order
- Civil Order of Saxony
- Saxon Service Order, 1st class (25 years service)
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Austria)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph (Bavaria)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresa (Austria-Hungary)
- Pour le Mérite (Prussia)
- Iron Cross, 1st and 2nd class (Prussia)
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Frederick Augustus III of SaxonyBorn: 25 May 1865 Died: 18 February 1932
|King of Saxony
15 October 1904 – 13 November 1918
|Titles in pretence|
|Loss of title
||— TITULAR —
King of Saxony
13 November 1918 – 18 February 1932