09 March 2014

german Houses. The Grand Ducal of Mecklenburg-Schwerin




The Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

House of Obotrides


All members of the Family had the Title Duke/Duchess zu Mecklenburg with the style of Highness (HH).  Unoficially also -Schwerin was added but it was neither part of the official Title. The Grand Dukes and Hereditary Grand Dukes and their spouses had the style of Royal Highness (HRH).



Ancesotor of the Family is Niklot (1090-1160), Fürst  of Abodrites, Kessin and Zirzipanen, who fell in 1160 1160 in the fight against  Heinrich the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony.  Descent and origin of Niklot are unknown. After the lost battle of Verchen in 1164 his son Pribislaw had to subdue to  Heninrich the Lion, became a Christian and received in 1167 a large part of his paternal inheritance of Heinrich back as Saxon fiefs. In 1170 he became a Fürst  of the empire. The Mecklenburg in Wismar (also Mikel castle, Mikel castle or Wiligrad) was repleaced in 1256 by Wismar  the princely seat. Meanwhile, however, other royal residences in obodritischen dominion arose. After the death of Prbislaw's grandson Heinrich Borwin I. in  1229 a first Partition of the posession took place in 1234 among his grandsons. It originated in the way of real division into the four Principalities: Mecklenburg, Parchim-Richenberg, Werle and Rostock.
  • Johann got the rule Mecklenburg with Mecklenburg Castle and Dassow, Klütz, Bresen (Grevesmühlen), Gadebusch, Poel, Ilow, Bug (Bukow), Brüel und Kussin (Neukloster)
  • Prislaw got the rule Parchim with Parchim, Sternberg, Brenz (Neustadt), Ture (Lübz), Quetzin (Plau-Goldberg). Since he was too young , his brother Johann still managed until 1238 the rule for his brother. In 1238 Pribislaw could begin his reign in Parchim.  He soon fell into a border dispute with the Count Schwerin . So he had to cede Brenz and Neustadt- Glewe . After this feud , he managed to stabilize his principality economically by establishing the cities Goldberg and Sternberg and the settlement of Jews in Parchim. He gave Lübz , Goldberg and Sternberg Parchimsche the city charter . In 1249 the Parchimer Town was established on the western Eldeufer . In 1248 Pribislaw moved the seat of residence for the newly built castle Parchim Rich Mountain on the Warnow river near the village of Kritzow . Since then, the rule was also Parchim Rich Mountain . The reasons for the move are not known. After disputes with the Schwerin Bishop Rudolf Pribislaw was captured and handed over to the bishop. Pribislaw was overthrown in 1255 and the Principality of his brethren: and his brother , the Count of Schwerin divided . Pribislaw went into exile in Pomerania and received in return the rule Belgard in Pomerania .
  • Nikolaus got the rule Werle with  Werle, Bisede (Güstrow), Teterow, Laage, Krakow, Malchow, Vipperow (Röbel), Turne, Liese and later from pommerian posseion Dargun, Malchin, Tucen and Gödebant-Tützen and Gädebehn (Stavenhagen), Sone-Schlön (Waren/Müritz), and Wustrow (Penzlin). Already among his sons, the rule was further divided in 1277 (Werle-Güstrow and Werle-Parchim). Under Nikolaus II. who succeeded in 1292 the rule was united again. His death in 1316 led to a further division of the country. While his son Johann III. Werle-Goldberg ruled the  part-rule Werle-Goldberg, his brother Johann II got the part rule Werle-Güstrow. 1337 split from the line Werle-Güstrow still from the line Waren. After the death of Johann IV, Lord of  Goldberg in  1374 the the lines Güstrow and Goldberg where united under Bernhard II.
    Last Lord of  Werle was Wilhelm. He united all Werl countries  in his hand and was called from 1426 Fürst of Wenden, Lord of  Güstrow, Waren and Werle. With his death in 1436 the princely house Werle became extinct in the male line
  • Heinrich Borwin III. got the rule Rostock with Kessin (Rostock), Kröpelin, Doberan, Ribnitz, Marlow, Sülze, Tessin and and later also Gnoien and Kalen. After a few failed attempts of the other two mecklenburgian principalities Mecklenburg and Werle to acquire the rule, presented Nikolaus, called the child put his country in 1300 under the protection and suzerainty of the King Eric of Denmark. This, however, became after a successful defense itself, landlord of the Rostock. Already in  1311 the mecklenburgian Fürst Heinrich  II. tried  to take the city of Rostock again in which he succeeded on 15.12.1312 succeeded. In 1314 Nikolaus of Rostock died disempowered and  without a male heir. The city of Rostock saw already in 1312 Heinrich II. as a representative of the Danish king. After another war it captured Heinrich II. and he concluded with the Danish King Christopher II on 21 May 1323 peace. He received the dominions Rostock, Gnoien and Schwaan as a hereditary fief of Denmark and the Principality of Rostock ceased to exist

Principality, from 1348 Duchy of Mecklenburg


After the death of Heinrich II. a grandson of Johann I., his sons the Brothers  Albrecht and Johann where made Dukes of Mecklenburg by Emperor Karl IV. in 1348. They divided Mecklenburg in 1352
  • Albrecht. The lands Rostock and the ancestral homeland of Mecklenburg were attributed to him. In 1357 he acquired the rights of the Counts of Schwerin. He made Schwerin his residence. After him the Duchy was reinged by his sons Heinrich II. who was succeeded by his brother Albrecht III., who had been King of Sweden from 1364-1389. He was succeeded by his nephew Johannes IV. Under Johannes son Heinrich IV. Mecklenburg-Schwerin inherited in 1435 the Principalty Werle after this line had become extinct. After the death of Duke Ulrich II. of Mecklenburg-Stargard in 1471 all Mecklenburg territories where reunited in his Hand.
  • Johann. He got  the countries Stargard, Sternberg and the Eldenburg (Lübz) awarded him with the country Ture. lready under  his sons Johann II. and Ulrich I., the country was divided in 1408 again. Johann got Sternberg, Friedland, Fürstenberg and Lychen and Ulrich got Neubrandenburg, (Castle) Stargard, Strelitz and Wesenberg (with Lize). Under Heinrich, the son of Ulrich I., the (partial) duchy was again united before it was reunited after the death of his childless son Ulrich II. in 1471 with Mecklenbur

Duchy of Mecklenburg
In 1471 Duke Heirnich IV. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin inherited after the death of Duke Ulrich II. of Mecklenburg-Stargard this posession and could therefore reunite all Mecklenburg territories. His grandson Heinrich V. and Albrecht VII. divided the territories in 1536 again into Schwerin and Güstrow but it was reunited again in 1552. Under the sons of Albrecht VII. Johann Albrecht and Ulrich it was again divided but reunited in 1610. Under Johann Adolf's grandsons Adolf Friedrich I. and Johann Albrecht II. into Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Güstrow in 1621.

  • Adolf Friedrich I. got Mecklenburg-Schwerin. 
  • Johann Albrecht II. got Mecklenburg-Güstrow 
In the posession of both remained  the city of Rostock and Warnemünde, the four national monasteries Dobbertin, Malchow, Ribnitz and the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Rostock. Together remained the Court and District Court, the Consistory, the Parliament, the border disputes and  the cost to the Imperial Chamber Court.
 



Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Duke Adolf Friedrich II. who got in the partiition Mecklenburg-Schwerin  had already after the death of his father, Duke Johann VII. on 22.03.1592 taken over the government of Schwerin  under the guardianship of his Duke Ulrich I. of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and Duke Karl I. of Mecklenburg. On 16.04.1608 he wad declared of age te Emperor and reigned jointly with his brother Johann Albrecht II in the Schwerin part of the country, since the death of Duke Karl I. on  22.07.1610 also in the part of the country Güstrow. In the division of lands in 1621 he was awarded the Schwerin part of the country . Both brothers joined in 1623 the defensive alliance of the Lower Saxon Circle stands for , tried to behave neutral in the war  but secretly supported the Danish troops of King Christian IV , were therefore treated by the Imperialists under Tilly , after the victory at Lutter as enemies. On 19.01.1628 Emperor Ferdinand II. at Brandeis Castle in Bohemia issued a certificate  by which he deprived the Dukes of their country and Wallenstein first unterpfändlich and  on 16.06.1629 got it the same hereditary fief. In May 1628 they left , pushed from Wallenstein,  the country into which they returned after his fall in May 1631 with the help of  Swedish troops . They had provisionally cede Wismar with the island of Poel and the Office Neukloster and Warnemünde to Sweden, which parts of the country , except Warnemünde , the same definitely received by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, while Duke Adolf Friedrich came in the possession of the bishoprics of Schwerin and Ratzeburg, as now secular principalities , and the Knights of St. John Mirow.  During his reign, Mecklenburg suffered greatly through the horrors of the Thirty Years' War. Both the Swedish and Imperial troops ravaged the country. The population shrank from 300,000 to about 50,000 inhabitants..
Duke Adolf Friedrich I. was married twice first to Countess Anna Maria of Ostfriesland and after her death he married Princess Maria Juliana of Brunswick-Dannenberg. From both marriages he had 19 children from which 12 becamce adults. 
from the first marriage
  • Christian Ludwig, who succeeded him as Duke
  • Sophie Agnes, Abbess in the monastery Rühn
  • Karl
  • Johann Georg, married to Princess Elisabeth Eleonore of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
  • Gustav Rudolf
from the second marriage
  • Juliane Sibiylle, Abbess  in the monastery Rühn
  • Friedrich, married to Princess Chrstine Wilhelmine of Hesse-Homburg
    • Friedrich Wilhelm, succeeded his uncle Duke Christian Ludwig as Duke
    •  Karl Leopold, succeeded his brother Duke Friedrich Wilhelm as Duke
    • Christian Ludwig II., succeded his Duke Karl Leopold as Duke
    • Sophie Louise, married to King Friedrich I. in Prussia
  • Christine, Abbess of Gandersheim
  • Marie Elisabeth,  Abbess of Gandersheim later Abbess  in the monastery Rühn
  • Anne Sophie, married to Duke Julius Sigismuned of Württemberg-Juliusburg
  • Adolf Friedrich II. who became in 1701 Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
After the death of Duke Adolf Freidrich I. in 27.02.1658 his oldest son Christian Ludwig the sole rule in  Mecklenburg -Schwerin. In 1662 he went to Paris to the court of Louis XIV. , Where he converted on 29.09.1663 to the catholic faith  and  day at the confirmation on the following the took after his  of his godfather King Louis XIV  the nickname Louis.. Later he signed many cases only with Christian . He died in The Hague on 11.21.06.1692. Duke Christian Ludwig was married twice, first with Christine Margarete of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, the second daughter of Duke Johann Albrecht II. of Mecklenburg-Güstrow.  She had been married before to Duke Franz Albrecht of Saxe-Öauenburg. who fell in  the Battle of Schweidnitz . On 06.0.1650 she was married in Hamburg with Christian , but by a  specifically designated to set down ecclesiastical court for malicious desertion on 19.10.1660 (as she did not return her left in a bi-monthly period to her husband) from him again divorced. This divorce was never recognized by her, but explained in the summer of 1663 ten professors of canon law at the University of Paris to be legal and in papal authority of 6 On August 3 October 1663 confirmed. He later married Elisabeth Angélique de Montmorency, Duchesse de Coligny  . She had been maried before  Gaspard, son of the Duke of ColignyBoth marriages were childless, so that Christian's nephew  Friedrich Wilhelm, the eldest son of his halbrother Friedrich of Mecklenburg succeeded him.


Mecklenburg-Güstrow
In the partition of 1621 the younger brother Johann Albrecht II. got Mecklenburg-Güstrow.  He had already reigned since 16.04.1608  under the guardianship  of Duke Karl I , jointly with his brother Adolf Friedrich I in the Schwerin part of the country  and followed his guardian on 09.07.1611 in the the part of the country Güstrow. In the second main division of the state Mecklenburg him the regency in Mecklenburg- Güstrow was then awarded alone. In 1617, he converted to the Protestant faith. Both brothers played in 1623 the defensive alliance of the Lower Saxon Circle stands at , tried to behave neutral in the war , but secretly supported the Danish troops of King Christian IV , were therefore treated by the Imperialists under Tilly , after the victory at Lutter as enemies.Both brothers joined in 1623 the defensive alliance of the Lower Saxon Circle stands for , tried to behave neutral in the war  but secretly supported the Danish troops of King Christian IV , were therefore treated by the Imperialists under Tilly , after the victory at Lutter as enemies. On 19.01.1628 Emperor Ferdinand II. at Brandeis Castle in Bohemia issued a certificate  by which he deprived the Dukes of their country and Wallenstein first unterpfändlich and  on 16.06.1629 got it the same hereditary fief. In May 1628 they left , pushed from Wallenstein,  the country into which they returned after his fall in May 1631 with the help of  Swedish troops . They had provisionally cede Wismar with the island of Poel and the Office Neukloster and Warnemünd. Duke Johann Albrecht was married three times. His first wife was Princess Margarethe elisabeth of Mecklenburg, a daughter of Duke Christoph. His second wife was Princess Elisabeth of Hesse-Cassel and his thrid wife Princess Eleonore Marie of Anhalt-Bernburg. He issue from his first and thrid marriages
from the first marriage: 
  • Johann Christoph, died young
  • Sophie Elisabeth, married to Duke August II. of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
  • Christine Margarte, married first to Duke Franz Albert of Saxe-Lauenburg, second to Duke Christian Ludwig I. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • Karl Heinrich, died young
from the thrid marriage
  • Anna Sophie, married to Ludwig IV.of Liegnitz
  • Johann Christian, died young
  • Eleonore, died young
  • Gustaf Adolf, succeeded his father as Duke
  • Louise

After the death of Duke Johann Albrecht II. on 23.04.1636 his brohter Duke Adolf Friedrich I. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin claimed the the guardianship over Duke Gustaf Adolf who was still a minor and the Duchy. Then a bitter dispute broke out between the widowed Duchess  and her brother-in-law over the guardianship and regency. Gustav Adolf was also from 1636-1648 Administrator of the diocese of Ratzeburg . On 02.05.1654 Duke Gustav Adolf was declared of age by the Emperor and took over until his death.  After the end of the Thirty Years War , Duke Gustaf Adolf led in  1661 census. In 1662 he adopted a regulation to eradicate wolves to reduce the sharp rise in the Thirty Years' War stocks. In 1671 he adopted a regulation to a comprehensive school reform . In the fifteen circles the Superintendent Präpositen be set aside  which are responsible for improving the school system. You will be tasked to establish schools , villages for a school to merge , adjust and determine how much money the school could not pay any or how much subsidies are needed suitable teachers. The schoolmaster received methodological instructions and must lead school tables on number of students , school attendance and performance. 1684 he orders the compulsory education from the age of six . In 1676 Duke Gustav Adolf adopted fire order. Each resident is instructed to be careful with light and open fire. Brewing in the houses is prohibited. In 1682 he ordered to dispose of all magic books to be burned. Instead of quackery free medicines for humans and livestock are offered. Through the establishment of a special court - witches witch trials shall be routed on track to eliminate the extorted by the local courts under torture confessions and Denzuniationen. In the same year under the then popular saying of Mecklenburg whorls of the Christ Child , which was partially accompanied here by Knecht Ruprecht . With a chain forms a web around , a sack on his back and a rod in his hand, he is the model of the future Santa Claus.DukeGustaf Adolf died on 06.10.1695 and as he left no male Issue with him the line Mecklenburg-Güstrow became extinct. 
He was married to Princess Magdalene Sibylle of Sleswig-Holstein-Gottorf.They had 11 children but no male heir.
  • Johann, died young
  • Eleonore, died young
  • Marie, married to Duke Adolf Friedrich II. of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Magdalene
  • Sophie, married to Duke Christian Ulrich I. of Württemberg-Oels-Bernstadt
  • Christine, married to Count Ludwig Christian of Stolberg-Gedern
  • Karl, married to Princess Maria Amalie of Brandenburg
  • Hedwig Eleonore, married to Prince August of Saxe-Meerseburg-Zörbig
  • Luise, married to King Frederik IV.of Denmark and Norway
  • Elisabeth, married to Prince Heinrich of Saxe-Meerseburg-Sepremberg
  • Auguste


After the extinction of the Güstrow line Duke Friedrich Wilhelm I. of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and his uncle Adolf Friedrich had an  violent dynastic succession dispute that escalated quickly and brought the country to the brink of civil war and was enclosed only by the intervention of foreign powers. The dispute ended in 1701 by the Hamburg comparison, the Mecklenburg again in two limited autonomous parts of the country split
  • Friedrich Wilhelm got Mecklenburg-Schwerin with was formed from the Duchy of Mecklenburg,   the Principality of Wenden, the Principality of Schwerin (ie the secularized bishopric of Schwerin), of the same county Schwerin and the rule Rostock.
  • Adolf Friedrich got Mecklenburg-Strelitz which was formed from Principality of Ratzeburg on the Mecklenburg western boundary south-east of Lübeck, the rule of Stargard in southeast Mecklenburg with the cities of Neubrandenburg, Friedland, Woldegk, Strelitz, Stargard, Furstenberg and Wesenberg, and the commanderies Mirow and Nemerow. He became the ancestor of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz branch.


Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin


Duke Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded on 21.06.1692 his childless uncle, Duke Christian Ludwig I. as reigning Duke of the Schwerin part of the country. After the extinction of the line Güstrow line  of the Mecklenburg dynasty he delivered himself with his uncle Adolf Friedrich a violent dynastic succession dispute that escalated quickly brought the country to the brink of civil war and was enclosed only by the intervention of foreign powers. The dispute ended in 1701 by the Hamburg comparison, the Mecklenburg again split into two limited autonomous parts of the country, the existing until 1918 two principalities Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and the right of succession of the firstborn of the dynasty introduced. Duke Friedrich Wilhelm led in 1708 a the "Consumptions and tax system" to overcome the consequences of the war both the Thirty Years War and already the Northern War. In addition to the taxation of the knights and the clergy included the "Consumptions and tax system," the abolition of servitude union farmers' dependence on their landlords. The serfdom of the peasants should be converted into a long lease, forced labor should be replaced by cash. This created a sharp contrast between the Duke and the stands. Duke Freidrich Wilhelm married in Cassel on 02.01.1704 Princess Sophie Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel,  daughter of the Landgrave Karl of Hesse-Cassel. The connection remained childless. The Duke had however numerous mistresses with whom he had at last 9 children. Duke Friedrich Wilhelm died on 31.07.1713 at the reurn from Schlagenbad near Mainz. As he left no son his brother Karl Leopold succeeded him as Duke.  Karl Leopold participated in part in the campaigns of the Swedish King Karl XII . As the Mecklenburger admired  the Swedish King not only as absolutist power politicians, but also mimicked him in clothing , gesture and speech, Karl Leopold quickly got a reputation as a nerd. Disrespectful called him Prince Eugene as "the monkey of Karl XII." However, the Swedish king respected the Mecklenburg as a man with courage and Versta. Karl Leopold sought sovereign, absolutist sovereignty with great severity against the knighthood and enforce against the allied with her Rostock. He urged the stands on to grant him to build up a standing army additional taxes, then forced the Rostock Council to waive its privileges and drove his tax claims against the knighthood of a ruthless. Mecklenburg -Schwerin was to terminate the stay of foreign troops in Mecklenburg -Schwerin during the Northern War staging area and theater of war and with the help of a standing army intended Karl Leopold. Basis of its tax claims was the "Consumptions and tax system" which his brother Friedrich Wilhelm had adopted to overcome the consequences of the war both the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and even the Great Northern War (1700-1721) in the year 1708. In addition to the taxation of the knights and the clergy included the " Consumptions and tax system ," the abolition of servitude union farmers' dependence on their landlords . The serfdom of the peasants should be converted into a Vererbpachtung, forced labor should be replaced by cash. This created a sharp contrast between the Duke and the stands. Negotiators of the stands was Count Andreas Gottlieb von Bernstorff, himself a member of the Mecklenburg knighthood and long-time chief minister of the Elector of Hanover. Due to the since 1714 existing personal union between the Electorate of Hanover and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the conflict between the rulers and the stands of Mecklenburg assumed European dimensions . Karl Leopold's allies in the fight against the knighthood were the citizens of the small towns that get their guild privileges and wanted to restrict the trade activities of knighthood . 1716 married Karl Leopold in Gdansk Katherina Ivanovna, a half- niece of the Russian Tsar Peter I. His marriage contract was supplemented by a treaty of alliance  which allowed it Russia to station troops in northern Germany. Karl Leopold needed the Russian troops to end the conflict with the knighthood , and in winter 1716/17 hit 40,000 Russian soldiers - the first time on German soil - their quarters in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin . Count Bernstorff suffered on his lands occupied by Russians considerable damage and put therefore the actions of the Mecklenburg stands against their rulers in Vienna and in London. As a result of the actions of the Mecklenburg estates before the head of the Empire, on the one hand against Karl Leopold breaches of the law , on the other hand against his autocratic aspirations ,imposed Emperor Karl VI . 1717 imperial execution against the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. With the perception of the imperial execution of the Director of the Lower Saxon Circle Empire , Elector Georg Ludwig of Hannover was commissioned. This allowed Andreas Gottlieb von Bernstorff combine the interests of the Mecklenburg knighthood with the influence of a foreign power The consummation of the kingdom execution took place in spring 1719. Tottered Karl Leopold's power , but he still had considerable influence on citizens , farmers and clergymen. The latter stood since 1718 again on the part of the Duke , after he had withdrawn their tax liability . Karl Leopold moved his seat of government to Doemitz and left soon after the land. The government in Mecklenburg -Schwerin took over as executors of the Elector of Hanover and King of Prussia.  After the death of George I. in  1727 the imperial execution was canceled. The Emperor had indeed the power to pronounce the imperial execution , but he lacked the power and means to remove foreign troops from Mecklenburg-Schwerin again . The Elector of Hanover and the King of Prussia pressed for payment of the costs incurred by them by the imperial execution . Since a settlement of the conflict failed initially, Karl Leopold was finally deposed in 1728 by Reichshofrat in Vienna in favor of his brother Christian Ludwig II. The political and administrative fragmentation of the country has been exacerbated by the significantly reduced the power of the Duke and the population was under additional load. The pledge of the four offices of Prussia did not end until 1787. Karl Leopold refused any compromise proposal of Karl VI.  The embittered man failed in 1733 in an attempt by a levy of citizens and farmers , but also with Prussian support to regain the rule in Mecklenburg -Schwerin. Politically sidelined , quarreling with his fate and in constant dispute with the " whole world" alive , Karl Leopold died finally on 28.11.1747 in Doemitz . He was married three times. In 1708 he married Princess Sophie Hedwig of Nassau-Dietz, a sister of the orange Heir Jain Willem Friso, but the marriage was already divorec in 1710. In trhe same year he coducted a mórganatic marriage with Christine Dorothea von Lepel. this marriage was not a hppy one and Christine Dorothea left hom soon and returned to her motehr. In 1711 the marriage was divorced. In 1716 he married at Danzig Grand Duchess Katharina Ivanovna of Russia. a daughter of the russian Tsar Ivan V. The marriage however was unhappy the cantakerous Duke often was rought, wometimes even brutal to his wife. In 1722 katharina Ivanaovna left her husbvand and returned with her daughter to her Family in Russia.
From his third marriage he one daughter
  • Elisabeth Katharina Christine,orthodox Anna Leopoldovna, married to Prince Anton Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel. In 1740 she became for hor minor son Ivan VI. Regent of the russian Empire but already in 1741 the Family was deposed by Elisabeth Petrovna, the daughter of Emperor Peter the Great.

In 1728 Karl Leopold's brother Christian Ludwig II was finally established  Reichshofrat in Vienna as the reigning Duke. Christian Ludwig II continued to struggle with the consequences . Eight offices were pledged to the Elector of Hanover and four offices in the Prussian king. The political and administrative fragmentation of the country has been exacerbated by the power of the Duke considerably . The pledge of the four offices of Prussia did not end until 1787. Karl Leopold tried again in 1733 to regain the rule in Mecklenburg-Schwerin , but failed. In 1748, Christian Ludwig II decided together with Adolf Friedrich III . the resolution of the Mecklenburg total state. However, this failed because of the fierce resistance of knighthood . Christian Ludwig II, then closed in 1755 with the estates of the country's basic statutory hereditary settlement from . This hereditary settlement led to the consolidation of power of the Mecklenburg knighthood, preserving the backwardness of the country until the end of the monarchy in Mecklenburg-Schwerin  in 1918.  For Christian Ludwig II. a hunting lodge in Klewnow was built by Johann Friedrich Künnecke a hunting lodge in Klenow , the predecessor of the later castle Ludwigslust . Duke Christian Ludwig II. married in 1714 Princess Gustave Karoline of Mecklenburg-Streltiz, a daughter of Duke Adolf Friedrich II. 
  • Friedrich, succeeded his father as Duke
  • Ulrike Sophie, from 1728-1756 Abbess of the monastery Rühn
  • Ludwig, married to Princess Charlotte Sophie of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
    • Friedrich Franz, succeeded his uncle Duke Friedrich as Duke
    • Sophie Friederike, married to Hereditary Prince Frederik of Denmark and Norway
  • Louise, died young
  • Amalie, 
After the death of Duke Christian Ludwig II. on 30.05.1756 his oldest son Friedrich took over on the government in the Duchy . Shortly after taking office , the country was drawn into the Seven Years' War . The located by the imperial execution in the country Prussian troops pressed partly by force their recruits from the local population. The complaints of Friedricb by the Prussian King Friedrich II. did not help . Thus  Friedrich concluded in March 1757, but defensively, the alliance with Sweden and France. He allowed the Swedes passage through Mecklenburg. Because of Mecklenburg also became  the scene of battles and Friedrich had to flee from the Prussian troops of General Paul von Werner until the summer of 1762 from Mecklenburg to Lübeck , where he resided in Hoghehus . After the peace agreement Mecklenburg was forced to pay high contributions to Prussia . The city of Rostock refused to pay , so Friedrich shifted 1760 parts of the Rostock University after Biitzow and founded the Friedrick University. The conflict with the city was settled only in 1789 after his death. Friedrich , who was a staunch supporter of pietism , has been described as a mild  more economical and just ruler . He promoted the education, the cloth manufacturing and abolished torture. He succeeded to repurchase the pledged goods in Hannover . In 1764 he moved his residence from Schwerin to Ludwigslust content. 1765 began architect Johann Joachim Busch, with the building of the Courtchurch  and continued the construction of the residence with the baroque castle which was built from 1772 to 1776 . On 02.03.1746  married Princess Luise Friederike of Württemberg,  daughter of the Hereditary Prince Friedrich Ludwig von Württemberg . The marriage remained childless and therfore his nephew Fredrich Franz, the son of his brother Ludwig took over the regnecy after Friedrich_s death on 17.06.1785 reigning Duke of Mecklenburg -Schwerin.At the beginning of his tenure Duke Fredrich Franz I. , triggered the last since 1731 after the imperial execution of Karl Leopold pledged to prussia villages to Prussia to the duchy.   Friedrich Franz I eliminated renewed disagreements with Rostock Rostock during the Second hereditary Contract of 1788. He wrote down specific rights of the city until 1918 and 1789, the united Ducal Friedrich University, which existed as a spin-off of the University of Rostock in Biitzow since 1760 , again with this . He enlarged his dominion by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss through which the city pin villages , possessions of the Lübeck Holy Spirit Hospital , came under his dominion , and acquired by the Treaty of Malmö in 1803  the old mecklenburgian  possessions Wismar, Poel and Neukloster back from Sweden. In the Napoleonic Wars he held his country first neutral, but when, after the battle of Jena and Auerstedt 1806 troops of the fourth coalition were tolerated , French troops occupied the country in December 1806. Friedrich Franz went on with his family under danish protection to Altona . In July 1807, the Russian Tsar Alexander I.  could reach the reinstatement of the Duke during a diplomatic meeting with Napoleon - under the condition of its accession to the Confederation of the Rhine. After the failed Russian campaign of Napoleon , Friedrick Franz left as the first German prince on 14.03.1813  the Confederation of the Rhine and armed troops going to battle against France. However, he had to briefly escape from the French out of his residence again.

Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

On 30.06.1815 on his 30th anniversary as Duke Friedrich Franz I. became Grand Duke. He reigned for another 22 years. Grand Duke FrIedrich Franz I. was since 1775 married to Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.
They had the following children
  • Friedrich Ludwig, married first in 1799 Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia, a daughter of Empeor Paul I., She died in childbed 1803. he married second in 1810 Princess Katharina of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach who died in 1816 and in 1818 he married Princess Auguste of Hesse-Homburgfrom the first marriage
    • Paul Friedrich, who succeeded his grandfather as Grand Duke
    • Marie, married to Duke Georg of Saxe-Altenburg
    from the second marriage
    • Albert
    • Helene, married to Prince Ferdinand of Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Duke of Chartres, oldest son and heir of the french King Louis Philippe
    • Magnus, died young
  •  Luise, married to Duke August of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
  • Gustav
  • Karl
  • Charlotte, married in 1806 Crown Prince Christian (later King Christian VIII.) of Denmark. The marriage was divorced in 1810.
  • Adolf

As the Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Ludwig died already in 1819 his son Paul Friedrich became the Heir of his grandfather. He was trained from 1814 first in Geneva and from  1818 in Jena and Rostock. After the death of his grandfather on 01.02.1837 he succeeded him as Grand Duke. Grand Duke Paul Friedrich improved the legal system and the infrastructure in the Grand Duchy . He moved after more than seventy years the residence from Ludwigslust to Schwerin and planned here a a new Castle building (the present state Museum) because the old Castle lock no longer met the representative tasks. Paul Friedrich died shortly after construction began , he had a cold drawn, when he took part in fighting a fire in Schwerin. His son Friedrich Franz II interrupted the construction and gave the order to rebuild the old castle . After Paul Friedrich  the Paulcity in Schwerin and the Paulsdam are named. On his  initiative  in Mecklenburg was started with the construction of the first railway lines in Germany. He died on 07.03.1842. Since 1822 he was married to Princess Alexandrine of Prussia, a daughter of King Friedrich Wilhjelm III. of Prussia.
They had 3 children:
  • Friedrich Franz, who succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Luise, married to Früst Hugo zu Windisch-Graetz
  • Wilhelm, married to Princess Alexandrine of Prussia
    • Charlotte, married first to Prince Heinrich XVIII. Reuß. After his death she later married Robert Schmidt
 
Successor of Paul Friedrich after his sudden death in 1842 became his 19 year old son Friedrich Franz II. In the revolution of 1848/49 Friedrich Franz II.  took a completely uncompromising attitude and issued in 1849 against the interests of his own relatives as fundamental law a liberal constitution for the part of the country governed by him, but this was lifted in Freienwalder Arbitration 1850. Not least because of this Constitution, he was until the death a popular prince . On 12.03.1854 Friedrich Franz II. was by the prussian King Wilhelm, I. to General of Infantry . When he got in 1864, offered before the German - Danish War, the Prussian king in command of a Prussian army corps, he refused. On the one hand he feared a threat to the Mecklenburg coast of Denmark, on the other hand was the Danish king his friend. Friedrich Franz remained so neutral, but joined the Prussian headquarters. In the subsequent German Austrian  War of 1866  he led on the Prussian side , a reserve corps, but no more was used. In the Franco-German War of 1870/71 the Grand Duke , after failure of French naval operations against the North German coast, arrieved only on 01.09.1870 at the theater of war in Metz . He took over as Commanding General of the leadership of the XIII . Army Corps. He was tasked by General Moltke mid-September to protect the back of the advancing on Paris 's main army of the Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm . But he also took over the command of a new army division , consisting of the I. Bavarian Corps , 2 Prussian cavalry divisions and one's XIII . Corps. He was able to secure the space between Chalons and Rheims and occupy the rear fortress of Toul . After also Soissons was defeated , he participated with his troops in late October at the Siege of Paris. On 02.12.1870 his army was victorious at Loigny-Poupry , and on 05. December, he was able to occupy Orléans . In the battle of Le Mans, 10. to 12.01.1871 was won another victory against the French under the command of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia. In the imperial proclamation in Versailles on 18.01.1871 he was represented by his son Friedrich Franz . Emperor Wilhelm I gave him after the peace the inspection of 2 Army and appointed the Grand Duke in 1873 Colonel-General with the rank of a Prussian field marshal.
Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II was married three times. On 20.10.1849 he married Princess Auguste Reuss to Schleiz-Koestritz. His first wife died in 1862, after the birth of her last child, the Duke Alexander, in 1859 from which she never recovered. On 12.05.1864  the Grand Duke married  the 21-year-old Princess Anna of Hesse ann by Rhine, daughter of Prince Karl, but she died  a year later after the birth of her daughter Anna. After Anna's death Friedrich Franz II. waited three years until he married on 04.07.1868  with the Princess Marie of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, daughter of Prince Adolf of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, who survived him for almost four decades.  Marie gave birth to the Grand Duke four children. After the Grand Ducal family had counted only six people in the 1840s, the dynastic future of the House of Mecklenburg was in the 1850s secured. 
from the first marriage:
  • Friedrich Franz, succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Paul Friedrich, married to Princess Marie zu Windisch-Graetz
    • Paul Friedrich
    • Marie Luise, died young
    • Marie Antoinette
    • Heinrich Borwin, married from 1911-1913 to Elisabeth Pratt, second from 1915-1921 to Natalie Oelrichs, and third to Karola von Alers
  • Marie othodox Maria Pavlovna, married to Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovitch of Russia
  • Johann Albrecht, after the death of his brother Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III. he took over the Regency over his minor nephew Friedrich Franz IV. until he came of age in April 1901. In 1907 he was elected Regent of the Duchy of Brunswick which he remained until November 1913. He married first Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. After her death in 1908 he married Princess Elisabeth zu Stolberg-Roßla. 
  • Alexander, died at birth
from the second marriage:
  •  Anna, died young
from the third marriage:
HH Duchess Woizlawa-Feodora,
Princess Reuß
  • Elisabeth, married to Grand Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg
  • Friedrich Wilhelm, died young
  • Johann Albrecht, married first to Princess Viktoria Reuß, who died after the birth of her onyl daughter, he remarried in 1925 Princess Elisabth zu Stolberg-Roßla, the widwo of his half-brogther, Duke Johann Albrecht
    from the first marriage
    • Woizlawa-Feodora, married to Prince Heinrich I. Reuß
  • Heinrich, dutch Hendrik, married in 1891 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, they are the great-parents of the present King Willem-Alexander






After the death of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II. on 15.04.1883 his oldest son became Grand Duke as Friedrich Franz III. who had a difficult asthma and heart disease.  However his health forced the  new Grand Duke soon again to travel in milder climate. A compromise was reached by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess stayed five months in Schwerin and the other months of the year could choose their residence at will. Between 1887 and 1895 they lived from November to May in Cannes.  General Friedrich led the goverment in Schwerin.  On 10.04.1897 Friedrich Franz III. died under mysterious circumstances in Cannes. Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III. had married on 24.01.1879 Grand Duchess Anastasia Michailovna of Russia, Together they had 3 children:

  • Alexandrine, married to King Christrian X. of Denmark
  • Friedrich Franz, who succeeded his father as Grand Duke
  • Cecilie, married to Crown Prince Wilhelm of the German Empire and of Prussia

After the early death of' Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III. his only son succeeded him as Grand Duke Friedrich Freanz IV. As he was only 15 years old his uncle Duke Johann Albrecht became Regent for him and took over the government until 09.04.1901 when he cim of gage. After he took over the government Friedrich Franz IV. tried together with his ministers of state to reform the Mecklenburg Constitution. All templates , which provided also an elected chamber for the parliament next to the corporative representation failed due to the resistance of the estates and of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. In World War I he led no troops command , despite his general rank. As a ruler he visited Mecklenburg troops on the Western Front. Despite the steadily deteriorating since 1915 general supply situation he limited his relatively lavish lifestyle in the war  not . Politically, he expressed doubts about the aspired by the imperial policy and the Supreme Command German victory peace. 1917 Friedrich Franz IV was against the radicalization of warfare. A negotiated peace all opponents of the war should end in his view the war. After the suicide of his relative and last regent of the Mecklenburg-Strelitz line House, Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI. of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, he managed this part of the country as a locum tenens until the November Revolution. In the autumn of 1918 he was unaware concerning the seriousness of the situation of the Central Powers. That's why he was against the cease-fire of the Supreme Command . His goal was still a negotiated peace. In the fall of 1918 he wanted with his Minister of State Adolf Lang Field achieve a change in the Mecklenburg Constitution by a proclamation of his own hands together. For the impending November Revolution he had no political sense and was by her outburst on 08.11.1918 surprised. Following the appointment of the people's government of members of the Reichstag parties he renounced on 14. November - one of the last German monarchs , four days after the abdication of the Emperor - for himself and his house to the throne and emigrated to Denmark. Now the ruling Family of Mecklenburg was expropriated. As part of the Princes Settlement Friedrich Franz IV. got in 1919 the hunting lodge Gelbensande back and lived there until 1921. Thereafter he lived until 1945, mostly in the Ludwigslust Castle, which, like the ducal Alexandrinen cottage in Heiligendamm as a summer residence, had remained in the possession of the Grand Duca Family . With the exception of Duke Christian Ludwig , the family fled in 1945 from the advancing Red Army to Flensburg. Most recently, the family lived then  in Glücksburg Castle. Here Friedrich Franz IV. became ill and died  also due to the lack of medical care and nutrition. The planned departure to Denmark  did not succeed anymore.

Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV. married on 07.06.1904 in Gmunden Princess Alexandra of Hannover, Princess of Great Britain and Ireleand. They had 5 children together

  • Friedrich Franz, who succeeded his father as head of the Grand Ducal House
  • Christian Ludwig, his father gave him the style of Royal Highness, married to Princess Barbara of Prussia
    • Donata, since the death of father and her uncle she acts as Head of the Grand Ducal House
    • Edwina, married to Konrad von Posern
  • Olga, died young
  • Thyra
  • Anastasia, married to Prince Friedrich Ferdinand zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

After the death of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV. his oldest son succeeded him as head of the Grand Ducal House.  the son , After he had graduated from high School in 1929  he then studied law from 1930-1932 , received an education in agriculture and undertook from 1932-1935 extended trips throgh Africa with his great-uncle Duke  Adolf Friedrich During his studies in Munich  Friedrich Franz met Nazi leaders such as Heinrich Himmler. Already on the first May 1931 he joined the NSDAP  and would probably have been added to the SS before 1933.  After his return from several months of safari through Africa with his cousin Prince Hubertus of Prussia in the spring of 1933 he joined the foreign Department , the current conducted by Ernst Wilhelm Bohle forerunner of the NSDAP/AO one. Bohle recommended him to the end of 1933 in a letter to Rudolf Hess , because he was "entered clever and skillful way for our idea out there" and that he had there, "where there is still a lot of German national spirit prevails , knitted salutary.", His next trip to Africa in 1934 was  by order of the AO   On 15.09.1935 he became  SS First Lieutenant. Then He worked in the andminstration of farms  and from October 1936 as Gauhauptstellenleiter.  His entry into the foreign service took place on 12.05.1938. He was initially assigned to the Unit X / Africa. In August 1939 he was appointed Secretary of Legation and seconded to the German Embassy in Belgrade. Here he remained until May 1940, separated by a short time in the military from August to November 1939. After the occupation of Denmark , he was on 20.11. 1940 personal assistant to the agent of the Empire in Copenhagen, the previous German Geandten Cécil of Renthe Finch while he worked for the Security Service of the Reichsführer-SS. It was because of his family connection to the Danish Queen Alexandrine, his aunt. Since Alexandrine refused contact with her ​​nephew , the Mission of  Friedrich Franz was without success. On 20.04.1941 he was promoted to Sturmbannführer . From 17.02.1943 he performed military service in the Waffen-SS. Despite the Princes Decree of 1940 and the Decree on the remote stance internationally -bound men from authoritative sites in the state, party and economy of May 1943, he served in the summer of 1944 "on the arrangement of Himmler at a unit of the Waffen-SS" and was the basis of merit to the party did not initially dismissed. It was only on 28 September 1944 , he was transferred to retire based on the decree of 1943. 

On 11.06.1941  Friedrich Franz married in Schwerin Karin von Schaper, a daughter of a retired colonel Dr. rer. pol . Walther von Schaper. This marriage was not equal and did not have the consent of the head of the house, his father Friedrich Franz IV , thus violating the House laws bill . A family council chaired by Friedrich Franz IV. therefore gave his younger brother Christian Ludwig the style of "Royal Highness".  On 22.09.1967 , the couple was divorced but remarried each other on 27.04.1977 at Glücksburg Castle. After the death of his brother Christian Ludwig in 1996 Friedrich Franz was the last male member of the Grand Ducal House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Since he had no children and his brother, two daughters and no sons, the direect male  line of the House of Mecklenburg Schwerin died with him out.



HH Duchess Donata
 



His niece Duchess Donata acts since 2001 as the Head of the Grand Ducal House but she has no succession rights. She takes care of care of the preservation and promotion of the estate of the last Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin as well as the remaining legal claims against the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (friendly settlement 1997), where she has now acquired forest land back and took over sponsorship in various organizations and has asked you also in the field of cultural development in the Mecklenburg Board of Trustees With her Family she lives at Hemmelmark Estate in Schleswig-Holstein which her mother had inherited from her grandmother Princess Irene of Prussia.

Duchess Donata married in 1987 the historian and art Expert Alexander von Solodkoff  They have 3 children

  • Thyra von Solodkoff
  • Alix von Solodkoff
  • Nilkot-Alexis, Duke zu Mecklenburg von Solodkoff




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