Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg


Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (July 20, 1835 - January 25, 1900) was a niece of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. She was the second daughter of Ernst, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Feodora of Leiningen, older half-sister of the British queen. ["Princess Feodora of Leiningen", Wikipedia.org] .

In 1852, not long after becoming emperor of the French, a proposal was made to her parents for her hand in marriage on behalf of Napoléon III. Although the two had never met, the political advantages of the marriage for the emperor were obvious; an international concord between the French and the British could be expected to ensue, combined with a marital alliance that would garner dynastic respectability for the Bonapartes. Because the bride was, officially, a minor German princess rather than a member of the British royal family, the risk of refusal was small and the bride could be expected to be sufficiently grateful for her good fortune to convert to Roman Catholicism in exchange for the crown matrimonial.

In fact, the proposal horrified Queen Victoria and vexed the Prince Consort, who preferred not to publicly 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 wedding negotiations, lest the queen seem either eager for or repulsed by the prospect of Napoléon as a nephew.

The parents, accurately interpreting the British disinterest as disapproval, declined the French offer -- to their sixteen year-old daughter's dismay. This may have been only the first move in a gambit the Hohenlohes hoped would wring sufficient concessions from the French to secure their daughter's future interests. Nonetheless, before his ministers could press his case with further inducements, Napoléon decided to forgo pursuit of a royal consort in order to procure the acquiescence of a woman he had been simultaneously soliciting to become his mistress: the strategically chaste Countess of Teba. [cite book| author = Diesbach, Ghislain de| others = translated from the French by Margaret Crosland| title = Secrets of the Gotha| year = 1967| publisher = Chapman & Hall| location = London| pages = 134-136]

A small island in Franz Josef Land, Adelaide Island (Остров Аделаиды), was named after Princess Adelheid by the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition.

Marriage and children

On September 11, 1856 Adelheid married Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein. They were parents to seven children ["Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein", Wikipedia.org] :

*Friedrich, Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (August 3, 1857 - October 29, 1858).
*Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein (October 22, 1858 - April 11, 1921). Married Wilhelm II of Germany.
*Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (January 25, 1860 - February 20, 1932). Married Friedrich Ferdinand, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. He was a son of Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, second son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel).
*Gerhard , Prince of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (January 20 - April 11, 1862).
*Ernst Gunther, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (August 11, 1863 - February 21, 1921).
*Louise, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (April 8, 1866 - April 28, 1952). Married Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia. He was a male-line great-grandson of Frederick William III of Prussia.
*Feodora Adelheid, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (July 3, 1874 - June 21, 1910).

References


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