Princess Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark

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Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark
Kurfürstin Wilhelmine Caroline von Hessen-Kassel.jpg
Portrait by August von der Embde, 1818
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Kassel
Electress consort of Hesse
Tenure 1785 – 1820
Born (1747-07-10)10 July 1747
Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark
Died 14 January 1820(1820-01-14) (aged 72)
Kassel, Germany
Spouse William I, Elector of Hesse
Issue Maria Frederica, Duchess of Anhalt-Bernburg
Caroline Amalie, Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
William II, Elector of Hesse
Full name
Danish: Vilhelmina Caroline
House Oldenburg
Father Frederick V of Denmark
Mother Louise of Great Britain

Princess Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark (Danish: Vilhelmina Karoline, German: Wilhelmina Karolina) (10 July 1747 in Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen – 14 January 1820 in Kassel), was the Electress of Hesse-Kassel.


Princess Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark, electress of Hesse-Kassel.

She was one of the daughters of King Frederick V of Denmark (1723–1766), and his first wife Louise (1724–1751), daughter of King George II of Great Britain.

At Christiansborg Palace on 1 September 1764 she married Prince William of Hesse, Count of Hanau, one of the wealthiest rulers of the period. Wilhelmina Caroline and William had grown up together and played together as children, as William had been evacuated to the Danish court during the Seven Years' War (1755–63), and it was decided early on that they should marry when they became adults. The couple settled in Hanau.

William IX, his wife, Wilhelmine Caroline of Denmark, and their children, Wilhelm, Friederika and Caroline. Painting by Wilhelm Böttner, 1791.

William succeeded in 1785 as Landgrave William IX of Hesse and in 1803 was raised to the rank of Elector of Hesse-Kassel as William I. The marriage was unhappy: her spouse was unfaithful and had many lovers, notably Karoline von Schlotheim, whom he had appointed Countess of Hessenstein. Wilhelmina Caroline herself was described as beautiful, distant, kind and sympathetic; in 1804, she still spoke Danish without accent and had a strong attachment to her birth country.

In 1806, Hesse was occupied by France. Her spouse and son fled to her brother-in-law Charles of Hesse in Schleswig, but she remained until a French governor was installed, after which she moved to her daughter Amalie in Gotha.[1] She spent the duration of the Kingdom of Westphalia (1806–13) in exile, among other places in Schleswig and in Prague. In 1813, the spouses returned to Kassel.





  1. ^ Charlottas, Hedvig Elisabeth (1936) [1800–1806]. af Klercker, Cecilia, ed. Hedvig Elisabeth Charlottas dagbok [The diary of Hedvig Elizabeth Charlotte] (in Swedish). VII 1800-1806. Translated by Cecilia af Klercker. Stockholm: P.A. Norstedt & Söners förlag. p. 476. OCLC 14111333.  (search for all versions on WorldCat)
Princess Wilhelmina Caroline of Denmark
Born: 10 July 1747 Died: 14 January 1820
German royalty
Preceded by
Philippine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Kassel
31 October 1785 – 1803
Title abolished
Title created Electress consort of Hesse
1803 – 14 January 1820
Title next held by
Augusta of Prussia