Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse
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Louis IV (Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Karl) (12 September 1837 – 13 March 1892), was the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, reigning from 13 June 1877 until his death. Through his own and his children's marriages he was connected to the British Royal Family, to the Imperial House of Russia and other Royal Houses of Europe.
Louis was born at Darmstadt, Germany as the son of Prince Charles of Hesse and by Rhine (23 April 1809 – 20 March 1877) and Princess Elisabeth of Prussia (18 June 1815 – 21 March 1885), granddaughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia.
Marriage and children
On 1 July 1862, Louis married Princess Alice, the third child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. On the day of the wedding, the Queen issued Letters Patent granting her new son-in-law the style of Royal Highness. This style was only in effect in Great Britain, not the German confederation where Prince Ludwig was only a Grand Ducal Highness. The Queen subsequently created him a Knight of the Garter.
The couple had seven children:
- Victoria Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford Haven (Victoria Alberta Elisabeth Mathilde Marie; 5 April 1863 - 24 September 1950)
- Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia (Elisabeth Alexandra Louise Alice; 1 November 1864 – 18 July 1918)
- Princess Irene of Prussia (Irene Louise Marie Anne; 11 July 1866 – 11 November 1953)
- Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse (Ernest Ludwig Charles Albert Wilhelm; 25 November 1868 – 9 October 1937)
- Prince Friedrich Wilhelm August Victor Leopold Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (7 October 1870 – 29 May 1873)
- Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of All the Russias (Victoria Alix Helena Louise Beatrice; 6 June 1872 – 17 July 1918)
- Princess Marie Victoria Feodore Leopoldine of Hesse and by Rhine (24 May 1874 – 16 November 1878)
During the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Louis commanded the Hessian cavalry in support of the Austrian side. In the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian War, Louis led the Hessian contingent of the armies of the North German Confederation.
Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
On 13 June 1877, he succeeded his uncle as Grand Duke of Hesse, taking the name Ludwig IV.
Following the death of Princess Alice in 1878, Ludwig IV contracted a morganatic marriage on 30 April 1884 in Darmstadt with Alexandrina Hutten-Czapska (3 September 1854 – 8 May 1941), the former wife of Aleksander Kolemin, the Russian chargé d'affaires in Darmstadt. His second wife received the title Countess von Romrod. The marriage, which caused great concern within his family, was annulled within a year.
Grand Duke Ludwig IV died on 13 March 1892 and was succeeded by his son, Ernest Louis. His remains are buried at Rosenhöhe, the mausoleum for the Grand Ducal House of Hesse outside of Darmstadt.
Titles, Styles, Honours & Arms
- 12 September 1837 - 13 June 1877: His Grand Ducal Highness Prince Ludwig of Hesse
- 1 July 1862 - 13 June 1877: (in the United Kingdom only) His Royal Highness Prince Ludwig of Hesse
- 13 June 1877 - 13 March 1892: His Royal Highness The Grand Duke of Hesse
On 1 July 1862, the day of his wedding, Queen Victoria issued Letters Patent granting her new son-in-law the style of His Royal Highness. This style was only in effect in the United Kingdom and not in Hesse where Prince Ludwig was only styled as His Grand Ducal Highness. On his accession as Grand Duke on 13 June 1877 he also became styled as His Royal Highness in Hesse.
- 1862: Knight of the Garter
|Princess Victoria||5 April 1863||24 September 1950||married Prince Louis of Battenberg, later Marquess of Milford-Haven; had issue. She was the maternal grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is the consort of Queen Elizabeth II.|
|Princess Elisabeth||1 November 1864||17 July 1918||Took the name Yelisaveta Fyodorovna on her baptism into the Russian Orthodox Church; married Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia (son of Alexander II of Russia); no issue|
|Princess Irene||11 July 1866||11 November 1953||married Prince Heinrich (son of Friedrich III of Germany); had issue|
|Prince Ernst Ludwig||25 November 1868||9 October 1937||Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (13 March 1892 – 9 November 1918); married|
|Prince Friedrich||7 October 1870||29 May 1873||Suffered from haemophilia and died from internal bleeding after a fall from a window|
|Princess Alix||6 June 1872||17 July 1918||Took the name Alexandra Feodorovna on her baptism into the Russian Orthodox Church; married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia; had issue|
|Princess Marie||24 May 1874||16 November 1878||Died of diphtheria|
Louis IV, Grand Duke of HesseBorn: 12 September 1837 Died: 13 March 1892
|Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine