Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg (1826–1896)

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Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg
Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg (1826–1896) Duchess of Oldenburg.jpg
Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
Tenure27 February 1853 – 2 February 1896
Born(1826-03-26)26 March 1826
Hildburghausen, Saxe-Altenburg
Died2 February 1896(1896-02-02) (aged 69)
Oldenburg, Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, German Empire
BurialDucal (Herzogliches) Mausoleum, Gertrudenfriedhof, Oldenburg
SpousePeter II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg
IssueFrederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg
Duke Georg Ludwig of Oldenburg
Full name
Elisabeth Pauline Alexandrine
FatherJoseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
MotherAmelia of Württemberg

Princess Elisabeth Pauline Alexandrine of Saxe-Altenburg (26 March 1826 – 2 February 1896) was a daughter of Joseph, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg and his wife Duchess Amelia of Württemberg.[1] By marriage, she became Grand Duchess of Oldenburg.

Family and early life[edit]

Elisabeth was born on 26 March 1826 in Hildburghausen. She was the fourth daughter born to Joseph, the then Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Hildburghausen and his wife Duchess Amelia of Württemberg. Her official title was Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Hildburghausen until later that year, when her family moved to Altenburg as a result of a transfer of territories among the various branches of the Ernestine Wettins. Elisabeth then took the title Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1834, her father succeeded as Duke of Saxe-Altenburg, but was forced to abdicate in the civil revolution of 1848 due to the conservative, anti-reform nature of his government.

Elisabeth and her siblings were educated by Carl Ludwig Nietzsche [de], a Lutheran pastor and the father of the famous philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Her sisters included Queen Marie of Hanover (wife of George V of Hanover) and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna of Russia (wife of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich of Russia). Through Alexandra, Elisabeth was an aunt of Queen Olga of Greece.


On 10 February 1852, Elisabeth married her second cousin Peter, Hereditary Grand Duke of Oldenburg.[1][2] He would succeed his father the following year as Grand Duke, making Elisabeth Grand Duchess of Oldenburg. She used funds given to her by her father on the occasion of her marriage to set up the Elisabeth Foundation, which still exists today. This fund established the Elisabeth Children’s Hospital, which she oversaw, and throughout her life she was a patron of numerous charities and organizations focused on the well-being of children, sometimes supplemented by her foundation.[3]

They had two children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Frederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg 16 November 1852 24 February 1931 married firstly Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia and secondly Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Duke Georg Ludwig of Oldenburg 27 June 1855 30 November 1939

Elisabeth died on 2 February 1896.[1][2] Her husband died four years later.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 26 March 1826 – 12 November 1826: Her Highness Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Hildburghausen
  • 12 November 1826 – 10 February 1852: Her Highness Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg
  • 10 February 1852 – 27 February 1853: Her Royal Highness The Hereditary Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
  • 27 February 1853 – 2 February 1896: Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Oldenburg



  1. ^ a b c Lundy, Darryl. "The Peerage: Elisabeth Pauline Alexandrine Prinzessin von Sachsen-Altenburg". Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Duchess of Oldenburg Dead", The New York Times, Berlin, 3 February 1896
  3. ^ short biography on unofficial British royalty website
Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg (1826–1896)
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 26 March 1826 Died: 2 February 1896
German royalty
Title last held by
Princess Cecilia of Sweden
Grand Duchess of Oldenburg
27 February 1853 – 2 February 1896
Title next held by
Duchess Elisabeth Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin