Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
|Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
|Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein|
|Tenure||11 March 1869 – 14 January 1880|
|Born||20 July 1835|
|Died||25 January 1900 (aged 64)|
|Spouse||Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein|
|Augusta Victoria, German Empress|
Karoline Mathilde, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Ernst Gunther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein
|Father||Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
|Mother||Princess Feodora of Leiningen|
Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (20 July 1835 – 25 January 1900) was Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein, a niece of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, a cousin of King Edward VII, and the mother-in-law of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. She is the direct most recent common matrilineal ancestress (through women only) of Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Felipe VI of Spain.
Napoleon III's proposal of marriage
In 1852, not long after Napoléon III became Emperor of France, he made a proposal of marriage to Adelheid's parents after he had been rebuffed by Princess Carola of Sweden. Although he had never met her, the political advantages of the marriage for the Emperor were obvious. It would provide dynastic respectability for the Bonaparte line, and could promote a closer alliance between France and Britain, because Adelheid was Queen Victoria's niece. At the same time, she was not officially a member of the British royal family, so the risk of refusal was small. Adelheid could be expected to be grateful enough for her good fortune to convert to Roman Catholicism.
As it turned out, the proposal horrified Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who preferred not to confer such hasty legitimacy upon France's latest "revolutionary" regime — the durability of which was deemed dubious — nor to yield up a young kinswoman for the purpose. The British court maintained a strict silence toward the Hohenlohes during the marriage negotiations, lest the Queen seem either eager for or repulsed by the prospect of Napoléon as a nephew-in-law.
The parents, accurately interpreting the British silence as disapproval, declined the French offer—to their sixteen-year-old daughter's dismay. This may have been only a maneuver by the Hohenlohes to obtain concessions from the French to secure their daughter's future interests. But before his ministers could press his case with further inducements, Napoléon gave up pursuit of a royal consort. Instead he offered marriage to Eugénie de Montijo, Countess of Teba, whom he had been simultaneously soliciting to become his mistress, and who had refused his advances.
Marriage and children
- Prince Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (3 August 1857-29 October 1858) he died at the age of fourteen months.
- Princess Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (22 October 1858-11 April 1921) she married Wilhelm II of Germany on 27 February 1881. They had seven children.
- Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (25 January 1860-20 February 1932) she married Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein on 19 March 1885. They had six children.
- Prince Gerhard of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (20 January 1862-11 April 1862) he died at the age of two months.
- Ernst Gunther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (11 August 1863-21 February 1921) he married Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on 2 August 1898.
- Princess Louise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (8 April 1866 -28 April 1952) she married Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia on 24 June 1889. They had four children.
- Princess Feodora Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (3 July 1874-21 June 1910).
With her husband, the Duchess first resided at Dolzig, in Lower Lusatia, but in 1863 moved to Kiel when Duke Frederick became legitimate heir to the duchies of Schleswig-Holstein. They returned to Dolzig only three years later, when after the Austrian-Prussian War the duchies were annexed by Prussia. In the following years the couple alternated between Dolzig, Gotha, and the family domains at Primkenau. Duke Frederick died in 1880, shortly before the couple's eldest daughter was engaged to the Prussian heir. After the marriage in February 1881, Duchess Adelheid settled in Dresden, where she lived a retired life, interesting herself chiefly in painting and music.
|Ancestors of Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg|
- Diesbach, Ghislain de (1967). Secrets of the Gotha. translated from the French by Margaret Crosland. London: Chapman & Hall. pp. 134–136.
- "Adelaide of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1835–1900)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Gale Research Inc. Archived from the original on 15 November 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2013.(subscription required)
- "Obituary - The Duchess Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein". The Times (36049). London. 26 January 1900. p. 10.