Alexandrine of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

by Scott Mehl

Alexandrine of Prussia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Princess Alexandrine of Prussia was the wife of Grand Duke Paul Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She was born in Berlin on February 23, 1803, the daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and Princess Luise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and was given the names Friederike Wilhelmine Alexandrine Marie Helene. She was known as Alexandrine, a name given to her in honor of her godfather, Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Alexandrine had eight siblings:

Paul Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

After rejecting a marriage proposal from the future King Oscar I of Sweden, Alexandrine married the future Grand Duke Paul Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Berlin on May 25, 1822. The couple took up residence at Ludwigslust Palace, and although the marriage was not a happy one, they had three children:

The Alexandrine Cottage in Heiligendamm. photo: Von Niteshift – Selbst fotografiert, CC BY-SA 3.0,

After her husband’s accession in 1837, he moved the court to Schwerin, leaving Ludwigslust to serve as a summer residence. They took up residence at the Altes Palais (link in German) in the center of the city. Just five years later, Paul Friedrich died and was succeeded by the couple’s son, Friedrich Franz II. Now the Dowager Duchess, Alexandrine retained the Altes Palais as her residence in Schwerin, as well as living at the Alexandrine Cottage in Heiligendamm (link in German).

Alexandrine in her later years, c1891

The Dowager Grand Duchess Alexandrine died in Schwerin on April 21, 1892. By that time, she had been widowed for fifty years, lived through the reign of her son, and saw her grandson succeed to the grand ducal throne in 1883. She was also the last living grandchild of King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, and had seen the Prussian throne held by her father, two brothers, a nephew and a great-nephew. She is buried beside her husband in the Schwerin Cathedral.

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