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Elisabeth Albertine von Sachsen-Hildburghausen

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Elisabeth Albertine of Saxony-Hildburghausen, Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz

Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen (* 3 August 1713 in Hildburghausen; † 29 June 1761 in Neustrelitz) was a princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen and by marriage duchess of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz].

Life

Elisabeth Albertine was born at Hildburghausen Palace as the daughter of Duke Ernst Friedrich I of Saxony-Hildburghausen (1681-1724) in his marriage to Sophia Albertine (1683-1742), daughter of Count Georg Ludwig I of Erbach-Erbach.

On 5 February 1735 she married Karl, Duke of Mecklenburg (1708-1752), from a collateral line of the ducal house of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, in Hildburghausen, with whom she lived in modest circumstances in Mirow. The marriage, which was based on affection, turned out to be a happy one. The couple’s court life ensured an upswing in Mirow, which had been almost completely destroyed by fire in 1747. The children of the couple were brought up domestically, with Elisabeth Albertine, who was described as pious and perceptive, playing a significant role.

After the death of her husband and his elder brother in 1752, her 14-year-old son Adolf Friedrich IV became (reigning) duke of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz district, and Elisabeth Albertine moved with the children to Neustrelitz. During the time of Adolf Friedrich’s accession to the throne in December 1752, Elisabeth Albertine tried for a few weeks to run the affairs of state for her son, for her husband had appointed her guardian of their children in his will, which had been confirmed by the emperor. However, Duke Christian Ludwig II of Mecklenburg [-Schwerin] also claimed the guardianship, who had troops moved in and thus forced the oath of homage from most of the Strelitz government officials. In the escalating guardianship dispute, actual regency was out of the question for either party. Adolf Friedrich IV was taken to Greifswald for safety. Elisabeth Albertine appealed to the Imperial Court. In the end she managed to have the Emperor declare her son of age prematurely.

Elisabeth Albertine continued to advise her son on political issues. Together with her son, she ratified the Landesgrundgesetzliche Erbungsvergleich for her minor children in July 1755.

Elisabeth Albertine was considered a particularly prudent princess. She died in 1761 two months before her daughter (Sophie) Charlotte became British Queen; she had negotiated their marriage contract on her deathbed. Her death marked the end of the princely court at Mirow, where the family had still regularly spent the summer. Elisabeth Albertine was laid to rest in the princely crypt in Mirow. Her coffin has not been preserved.

Descendants

Their marriage produced ten children, six of whom lived to adulthood:

  • Christiane (1735-1794)
  • Caroline (*/† 1736)
  • Adolf Friedrich IV (1738-1794), Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
  • Elisabeth Christine (1739-1741)
  • Sophie Luise (1740-1742)
  • Charles II. (1741-1816), Duke of, later Grand Duke of Mecklenburg [-Strelitz]
1. 1768 Princess Friederike Caroline Luise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1752-1782)
2. 1784 Princess Charlotte of Hesse-Darmstadt (1755-1785)
  • Ernst (1742-1814)
  • Gotthelf (*/† 1745)
  • Sophie Charlotte (1744-1818)
⚭ 1761 King George III of Great Britain (1738-1820)
  • George (August) (1748-1785), imperial major-general in Hungary

Literature

  • Archiv für Landeskunde in den Grossherzogthümern Mecklenburg, vol. 15, Schwerin, 1865, p. 481 ff.(digital copy)
  • Heinrich Ferdinand Schoeppl: The Dukes of Saxe-Altenburg (formerly Saxe-Hildburghausen) B olzano 1917, reprint Altenburg 1992
  • Paschen Heinrich Hane: Übersicht der Mecklenburgischen Geschichte, 1804, p. 643 ff.(digital copy)
  • Helmuth Borth: Castles that lie along the way: Unterwegs zu 101 Guts- und Herrenhäusern in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Steffen, Friedland; Edition: veränd. Ed. (8 April 2004)

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