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This story published 1/15/98
Written by Ursula Grosser Dixon
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Ursula's History Web
Table of Contents
1. The Crown Prince
2. The Meeting Between Luise
    and the Crown Prince
3. The Royal Wedding
4. Married Life at the Royal Court
5. The Legend of the White Lady
6. The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
7. Luise and Tsar Alexander I
8. The Continent in Turmoil
9. Battles in the German Heartland
10. His Beautiful Enemy
11. A Visit to St. Petersburg
12. The Royal Family Returns to Berlin
13. The Sudden Death of
      Prussia's Young Queen
14. For Queen Luise!
15. Works Cited

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She was born on March 10, 1776 at Herrenhausen Palace in Hannover and was baptized Luise Augusta Wilhelmina Amelia. Her father was Prince Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a second son of an impoverished ducal house, who had married Princess Frederika Caroline Luise, daughter of Prince George William and brother to the reigning landgrave Louis IX of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Luise was the sixth child of her parents. She had two surviving older sisters, Charlotte and Therese. Very soon a younger sister, Frederica was born, as well a younger brother George. When Luise was six years old her mother died in childbirth. Her father promptly married her maternal aunt, but within one year she too was dead in childbirth, leaving a son.

Twice widowed in so short a space of time, Prince Charles did not try to find a third wife. He took a prolonged leave of absence from his military duties as governor of Hannover and traveled for several years. During this time his sons remained in Hannover, his eldest daughter Charlotte was already married and his three younger girls were sent to live with their grandmother in Darmstadt. After his wanderyears Prince Charles took a position as president of an Imperial Credit Commision and bought a house in Darmstadt. The girls had a Swiss governess who instructed them in history, geography, English and French.

In 1789 their sister Therese married the Hereditary Prince of Thurn and Taxis. Luise and her sister Fredrica grew very close. They both grew up to be very attractive. The election of the Emperor took place in Frankfurt on July 5, 1792. Prince Charles made the decision to take the girls to Frankfurt. The temptation to show off his two lovely young marriageable daughters played a big part in this decision. The coronation ceremonies were managed by Count Clemens Metternich. He danced with Luise again and again at the ball which followed the coronation. Years later he wrote in his Memoirs, one would never guess that Luise and her sister sewed their own dresses, darned their slippers and had a monthly allowance of five Gulden, thirty kreutzer apiece.

On July 14, 1789 the bastille Prison, symbol of French autocracy, fell to a mob which had neither cannons nor any adequate supply of arms. A few months later another mob exultingly brought back the Royal family from Versailles to Paris. Urgent secret appeals for help came to the Emperor from King Louis XVI. Active response was delayed in the hope that some internal solution of the disorder might be found. But now, as of April 20, 1792, France was at war with Austria and Prussia. As a result to the Allies threat to France, the Tuileries was attacked, the Royal family imprisoned, and a republic proclaimed. When in January 1793 King Louis was tried and executed, the shock strengthened the resistance to France. A larger coaliton was formed, including England, Holland, Austria, Prussia, Spain and Sardinia. Prince Charles was not altogether pleased to learn that the little landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt had become part of the mighty coalition. To Luise's kindly uncle George the war brought employment. It also brought him into contact with King Frederick William II of Prussia, who had turned his attentions to the Rhineland and made his headquarters in Frankfurt.



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