Category Archives: German Royals

Maria Ana of Portugal, wife of King Georg of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Maria Ana of Portugal, wife of King Georg of Saxony

Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal was the wife of Prince Georg, who later became King Georg of Saxony. She was born Infanta Maria Ana Fernanda Leopoldina Micaela Rafaela Gabriela Carlota Antónia Júlia Vitória Praxedes Francisca de Assis Gonzaga in Lisbon, Portugal on August 21, 1843. Maria Ana was the daughter of Queen Maria II of Portugal and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She had ten siblings:

Maria Ana, c1856. source: Wikipedia

Maria Ana was just ten years old when her mother died, and her elder brother Pedro became King of Portugal. Despite her young age, she served as the leading lady of the Portuguese court until Pedro married Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1858.

The following year, on May 11, 1859, Maria Ana married Prince Georg of Saxony at Belém Palace in Lisbon. He was the son of King Johann of Saxony and Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria, and at the time was second in the line to the Saxon throne, behind his older brother, Albert. The couple had eight children:

Prince Georg of Saxony, c1860. source: Wikipedia

Despite their large family, the marriage proved to be an unhappy one. Georg made little effort to support his wife in her new country, and failed to live up to her expectations. Very pious and preferring private life to that of the court, Maria Ana’s primary focus was raising her family, and supporting several religious and social organizations.

Maria Ana died in Dresden on February 5, 1884, after several months of caring for her youngest son, Albert, who had been in very ill health for some time. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony). She was survived by six of her children, and her husband who remained unmarried for the rest of his life. Eighteen years after Maria Ana’s death, Georg became King of Saxony, reigning just two years. Her eldest son then became King Friedrich August III, the last King of Saxony.

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Georg, King of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Georg, King of Saxony

King Georg of Saxony was born Prince Friedrich August Georg Ludwig Wilhelm Maximilian Karl Maria Nepomuk Baptist Xaver Cyriacus Romanus, on August 8, 1832 in Dresden. He was the second son of King Johann of Saxony and Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. Georg had eight siblings:

Georg studied at the University of Bonn before beginning a military career which saw him fight in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and the Franco-Prussian War. In 1871, he represented Saxony at the Palace of Versailles for the proclamation of Prussian King Wilhelm I as the first German Emperor. In addition to his military career, Georg also chaired the Saxon Antiquities Association from 1855 until his accession in 1902. The organization was dedicated to the preservation of monuments and buildings in Saxony.

Infanta Maria Ana. source: Wikipedia

On May 11, 1859, at the Belém Palace in Lisbon, Georg married Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal. She was the daughter of the former Queen Maria II of Portugal and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and a sister of King Pedro V. Despite an unhappy marriage, they had eight children:

As his elder brother Albert had no children, Georg was heir-presumptive to the Saxon throne from the time of Albert’s accession in 1873. Albert died in 1902, and Georg became King of Saxony at nearly 70 years old. Because of his age, many people felt that he should step down and let the throne pass to his son, Friedrich August. His unpopularity increased during the textile workers’ strike in Crimmitschau in 1903-1904. Refusing to give in to the demands for higher wagers and better working conditions, the King instead sent military forces into the city to force the end of the strike.

His reign lasted only two years. After falling ill with influenza earlier in the year, King Georg died in Pillnitz on October 15, 1904. He is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Carola of Vasa, Queen of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Carola of Vasa, Queen of Saxony

Queen Carola was the wife of King Albert of Saxony, and the last Queen of Saxony. She was born Princess Karolina Fredrika Franciska Stefania Amalia Cecilia of Vasa on August 5, 1833 at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Her parents were Gustav, Prince of Vasa (formerly Crown Prince of Sweden) and Princess Luise Amelie of Baden, and she had one older sibling – Prince Louis – who was born and died in March 1832.

Despite her title, Carola wasn’t actually a member of the Vasa dynasty. Her grandfather, King Gustaf IV Adolf of Sweden, had been forced to abdicate the throne in 1809, and was eventually replaced by his uncle, King Karl XIII. (Karl had no children, and this led to the choosing of Jean Baptiste Bernadotte to succeed him, thus establishing the Bernadotte dynasty which remains on the Swedish throne today.) The family was forced to leave Sweden, settling elsewhere in Europe. Carola’s father and his siblings settled in Austria, where he went on to serve in the Austrian forces. No longer permitted to be styled a Prince of Sweden, he took on the title Prince of Vasa, a nod to the dynasty which had previously ruled Sweden in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Carola was christened two days after her birth, with her godparents including the Emperor and Empress of Austria, the Grand Duchess of Baden, and the Grand Duchess of Oldenburg. Her early years were spent primarily at Eichhorn Castle in what is now Brno, Czech Republic. After her parents divorced in 1844, Carola and her mother moved to the Morawetz Castle in Morawetz (link is in Czech), also the Czech Republic. Given a strict education, Carola developed a love of drawing and painting, as well as a deep sense of compassion for those less fortunate. This strong desire to help others continued for her entire life.

Carola was known as one of the most beautiful of the European princesses, and had numerous suitors. Plans for a marriage to the French Emperor Napoléon III were refused by her father, who was strongly opposed to the Napoleonic monarchy, and concerned by the unstable political situation in France.

Crown Prince Albert of Saxony. source: Wikipedia

In November 1852, Carola and her mother received a visit from Crown Prince Albert of Saxony, the son of King Johann of Saxony and Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. Albert was on a quest to find a suitable bride, and having been turned down by several others, set his sights on Carola. They became engaged on December 5, 1852. The following month, Carola and her mother moved to Brno, where Albert visited often. In June 1853, she made her way to Saxony, arriving in Dresden, accompanied by Albert, to a grand welcome from the Saxon people. They married in the Dresden Cathedral on June 18, 1853. After two weeks of celebrations, they took up residence in the Taschenbergpalais in Dresden.

Crown Princess Carola, c1865. source: Wikipedia

As Crown Princess, Carola quickly became involved in charity work. She visited field hospitals in Vienna and founded the Albert Commission, which supported military care during the war of 1870-1871. She took over the patronage of several organizations which supported widows and orphans, and provided food and medical care for wounded soldiers, as well as founding several hospitals and nursing schools. In recognition of her work, Carola was awarded several orders including the Saxon Order of Sidonia and the Prussian Order of Luise.

These activities increased further after her husband ascended the Saxon throne on October 29, 1873. In addition to supporting organizations which provided medical care, she was also instrumental in establishing several organizations to provide training for a growing workforce due to an increase in industrialization. Through her efforts, homes were built for families who needed housing, nurses received more proper training, and advances were made in the care and treatment of tuberculosis within Saxony. Schools and nursing homes were established, along with several women’s organizations which provided vocational training. Queen Carola is often credited for greatly contributing to the increasing professional independence of women.

Queen Carola, c1902. source: Wikipedia

Carola was widowed in 1902, and retired to her country home in Strehlen, appearing in public only occasionally. She continued working with several of her patronages, but most were passed on to the new Queen. Living a relatively simple life in Strehlen, the Dowager Queen spent several years working on, and constantly revising, her will which would end up giving a large part of her estate to charity. Her health began to decline, a result of diabetes, which she had suffered from for several years. She died on the morning of December 15, 1907. After laying in state at her villa in Strehlen, her coffin was taken to the Dresden Cathedral where she is buried beside her husband in the Wettin Crypt.

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Albert, King of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Albert, King of Saxony

King Albert of Saxony was born Prince Friedrich August Albert Anton Ferdinand Joseph Karl Maria Baptist Nepomuk Wilhelm Xaver Georg Fidelis on April 23, 1828 in Dresden. He was the eldest son of King Johann of Saxony and Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria, and had eight siblings:

Albert attended the University of Bonn, but his education was primarily designed for his military career. He served in the First Schleswig War, the Austro-Prussian War, and the Franco-Prussian War and was a distinguished military officer. He became Crown Prince of Saxony upon his father’s accession in 1854 and continued to serve with the Saxon and Prussian forces.

Carola of Sweden. source: Wikipedia

On June 18, 1853 in Dresden, Albert married Princess Carola of Vasa. She was the daughter of Gustaf, Prince of Vasa (formerly The Crown Prince of Sweden) and Princess Luise Amelie of Baden. They had no children.

Albert’s father died on October 29, 1873 and he took the Saxon throne. For the most part, his reign was quiet and uneventful, as he focused primarily on military affairs and did not involve himself much in politics. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the establishment of the Albertstadt, a suburb in Dresden. And in the late 1890s, he was appointed to serve as arbitrator in the dispute over succession in the Principality of Lippe.

After a reign of nearly 29 years, King Albert died in Sibyllenort on June 19, 1902, and was succeeded by his younger brother, Georg. Like his predecessors, he is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Amalie Auguste of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Amalie Auguste of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony

Queen Amalie was the wife of King Johann of Saxony. She was born Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria on November 13, 1801, the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Karoline of Baden. Amalie had eleven siblings, including five from her father’s first marriage:

Prince Johann of Saxony, c1832. source: Wikipedia

On November 21, 1822, in Dresden, Amalie married Prince Johann of Saxony, the son of Prince Maximilian of Saxony and Princess Caroline of Parma. At the time, Johann was 4th in the line of succession for the Saxon throne, with little expectation that he would ever become King. From all accounts, the marriage was a happy one, and the couple had nine children:

Amalie’s husband became the heir presumptive to the Saxon throne in 1836, when King Anton died and was succeeded by Johann’s elder brother, King Friedrich August II. Amalie and her husband were close with the King and his wife (who was Amalie’s younger sister), and the two women worked together to support numerous charities and institutions. In 1851, Amalie became Chairwoman of the Women’s Association of Dresden, which had been founded by her sister some years earlier.

Upon King Friedrich August II’s death in August 1854, the throne passed to Johann, and Amalie succeeded her own sister as Queen of Saxony. Her husband would reign until his death on October 29, 1873, succeeded by the couple’s eldest son, King Albert.

source: Wikipedia

Queen Amalie Auguste survived her husband by four years, dying in Wachwitz on November 8, 1877. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Johann, King of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Johann, King of Saxony

King Johann of Saxony reigned from 1854 until 1873. He was born in Dresden on December 12, 1801, the third son and fifth child of Prince Maximilian of Saxony and Princess Caroline of Parma, and given the names Johann Nepomuk Maria Joseph Anton Vincenz Aloys Franz de Paula Stanislaus Bernhard Paul Felix Damasus. Johann had five siblings:

Initially, Johann was far enough down the line of succession that there seemed little chance he would ever inherit the throne. However, by the time his brother became King Friedrich August II in 1836, Johann was his heir presumptive. He received an education intended to prepare him for his possible future role, and took an active part in the government, even serving in the First Chamber of the Saxon Parliament after the new Constitution was passed in 1831.

Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. source: Wikipedia

Johann married Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria in Dresden on November 21, 1822. She was the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Karoline of Baden. The couple had nine children:

He became King of Saxony upon his brother’s death on August 9, 1854. His reign saw much progress within Saxony, including the extension of the railroad network, introduction of free trade – including a commercial treaty with France – and the establishment of the Judiciary Organization. Under King Johann’s oversight, Saxony became one of the most modern and progressive of the German states.

In 1866, Johann aligned Saxony with Austria and fought alongside them in the Austro-Prussian War. After being defeated, Saxony joined the North German Confederation, and later the German Empire in 1871.

Johann was an avid student of literature, and under a pseudonym, published numerous translations into German, including Dante’s Divine Comedy.

King Johann died in Pillnitz on October 29, 1873. He is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Maria Anna of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Maria Anna of Bavaria, Queen of Saxony

Queen Maria Anna of Saxony was the second wife of King Friedrich August II of Saxony. She was born Princess Maria Anna Leopoldine Elisabeth Wilhelmine of Bavaria, in Munich on January 27, 1805, to King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Caroline of Baden. She had eleven siblings, including five from her father’s first marriage:

Friedrich August of Saxony. source: Wikipedia

On April 24, 1833 in Dresden, Maria Anna married Crown Prince Friedrich August of Saxony. He was the son of Prince Maximilian of Saxony and Princess Caroline of Parma. They had no children.

Three years later, on June 6, 1836, she became Queen of Saxony upon her husband’s accession to the throne. Shortly after becoming Queen, she founded a women’s association to help combat the famines which were plaguing parts of Saxony. This association continued to exist until the early 1930s.

photo: Von Haeferl – Eigenes Werk, CC-BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43093011

On August 9, 1854, King Friedrich August II was killed in an accident while traveling in the Tyrol. Queen Maria Anna had a chapel built on the site, which was dedicated a year later.

The Dowager Queen Maria Anna died on September 13, 1877 in Wachwitz, Dresden. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony

source: Wikipedia

Maria Karoline of Austria, Crown Princess of Saxony

Maria Karoline of Austria was the first wife of the future King Friedrich August II of Saxony. She never served as Queen, as she died before her husband’s accession. She was born Maria Karoline Ferdinande Theresia Josephine Demetria in Vienna on April 8, 1801, one of twelve children of Franz II, Holy Roman Emperor (later Emperor Franz I of Austria) and Maria Theresa of the Two Sicilies. Maria Karoline was named for an elder sister who had died as a child.

Maria Karoline (center, holding a basket) with her parents and siblings, painting by Josef Kreutzinger c1805. source: Wikipedia

Maria Karoline had eleven siblings:

Her mother died when she was just six years old, and her father went on to remarry twice.

Friedrich August of Saxony. source: Wikipedia

At the age of 18, Marie Karoline married Prince Friedrich August of Saxony on October 7, 1819, in Dresden. He was the son of Prince Maximilian of Saxony and Princess Caroline of Parma. At the time, he was third in line to the throne of Saxony. The couple had no children.

From all accounts, the marriage was not a happy one. The Princess suffered from epilepsy, often plagued with seizures which more or less left her incapacitated for long periods of time. She became Crown Princess in 1830 when her father-in-law relinquished his rights to the throne in favor of Friedrich August, who was also proclaimed Prince Co-Regent with his uncle, King Anton.

Dresden Cathedral. photo By Lupus in Saxonia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47181888

After much suffering, Crown Princess Marie Karoline died at Schloss Pillnitz, in Dresden, on May 22, 1832. She is buried in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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Friedrich August II, King of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Friedrich August II, King of Saxony

King Friedrich August II of Saxony reigned from 1836 until 1854, having succeeded his childless uncle, King Anton. He was born in Dresden on May 18, 1797, and given the names Friedrich August Albrecht Maria Clemens Joseph Vincenz Aloys Nepomuk Johann Baptista Nikolaus Raphael Peter Xavier Franz de Paula Venantius Felix. His parents were Prince Maximilian of Saxony and Princess Carolina of Parma. He had six siblings:

Maria Karoline of Austria. source: Wikipedia

On October 7, 1819, Friedrich August married Archduchess Maria Karoline of Austria, the daughter of Emperor Franz I of Austria and Princess Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies. They had no children. Maria Karoline suffered from epilepsy and died at Pillnitz Castle on May 22, 1832.

Maria Anna of Bavaria. source: Wikipedia

The following year, on April 24, 1833, he married Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria. She was the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and Princess Karoline of Baden. There were no children from this marriage either.

Friedrich August was appointed Co-Regent by his uncle, King Anton, in September 1830. While Anton had little interest in matters of politics or government, Friedrich August was an eager participant and worked to bring change to the country, bringing Free Autonomy to the cities and removing restrictions on the farmers. When King Anton died on June 6, 1836, Friedrich August succeed him as King Friedrich August II.

His reign was relatively uneventful, and the new King typically deferred to his ministers to make any decisions. During the March Revolution, he brought more liberal ministers into the government and eliminated censorship, but soon decided to reverse his decision, dissolving the Saxon Parliament. He was briefly forced to flee during the May Uprising, but returned after several days.

The King preferred to spend his time developing his collection of fossils and other items, establishing a vast natural history collection. In this quest, he traveled extensively, including a visit to The United Kingdom in 1844 where he was a guest of Queen Victoria.

The Königskapelle, source: Wikipedia

On August 9, 1854, King Friedrich August II died in Karrösten, Austria, from injuries sustained in a carriage accident. The previous day while traveling in the Tyrol, the King had fallen from the carriage into the path of one of the horses which stepped on his head. He was buried the following week, in the Wettin Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony). His widow, Dowager Queen Maria Anna, had a chapel built on the site of the King’s accident. The Königskapelle (King’s Chapel) was consecrated the following year.

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Maria Theresia of Austria, Queen of Saxony

by Scott Mehl

source: Wikipedia

Maria Theresia of Austria, Queen of Saxony

Queen Maria Theresia was the wife of King Anton of Saxony. She was born Archduchess Maria Theresia Josepha Charlotte Johanna of Austria, on January 14, 1767, the eldest child of Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany (later Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor) and Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain. She had fifteen younger siblings:

Maria Theresia and her siblings were raised by their parents as opposed to a household of servants and governesses – something quite unusual for the time. Despite their father’s position, they were brought up very simply, and kept away from the pomp and ceremony of court. As she grew up, she became a very private person, and enjoyed a simple and religious home life.

Anton of Saxony. source: Wikipedia

On October 18, 1787 in Dresden, Maria Theresia married, as his second wife, Prince Anton of Saxony. They were previously married by proxy in Florence on September 8. At the time, Anton was heir-presumptive to his brother, the Elector of Saxony, who later became King Friedrich August I of Saxony. However, it was assumed that Friedrich August would have children, and Anton would not inherit the throne – something which pleased the very private princess. The couple had four children, none of whom lived past infancy:

  • Maria Ludovika (1795) – died in infancy
  • Friedrich August (1796) – died at birth
  • Maria Johanna (1798) – died in infancy
  • Maria Theresia (1799) – died at birth

After the death of her sister-in-law, Princess Caroline of Parma (married to Prince Maximilian of Saxony) in 1804, Maria Theresia helped to raise Caroline’s children.

Dresden Cathedral. photo By Lupus in Saxonia – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47181888

Upon her brother-in-law’s death on May 5, 1827, Maria Theresia and her husband became King and Queen of Saxony. Sadly, her tenure as Queen was short-lived. Just six months after her husband’s accession, Queen Maria Theresia died in Leipzig on November 7, 1827. She is buried in the Wetting Crypt at the Dresden Cathedral, formerly known as the Katholische Hofkirche (Catholic Church of the Royal Court of Saxony).

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