Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse

Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse

Infobox_Monarch | name =Ernst Louis I
title =Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine

caption =
reign =13 March, 1892-1918
coronation =
predecessor =Louis IV
successor =Grand Duchy abolished
heir =
consort =Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich
issue =Princess Elisabeth
Stillborn son
Prince Georg Donatus
Prince Louis
royal house =House of Hesse-Darmstadt
royal anthem =
father =Louis IV
mother =Princess Alice of the United Kingdom
date of birth =birth date|1868|11|25|df=y
place of birth = Darmstadt
date of death =death date and age|1937|10|9|1868|11|25|df=y
place of death =Langen
buried = Rosenhohe, Darmstadt|

Ernest Louis Charles Albert William (de: "Ernst Ludwig Karl Albert Wilhelm"), (25 November, 1868 - 9 October, 1937) was the last "Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine" from 1892 until 1918. His nickname was Ernie.

Early life

Ernest Louis was the fourth child and eldest son of Grand Duke Louis IV and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He was an older brother to Alexandra of Hesse, Empress Consort of Nicholas II of Russia.

Ernest Louis's early life was shrouded with death. When he was five, his younger brother Friedrich died. The two boys had been playing a game in their mother's bedroom when the younger boy fell through an unlatched window onto the balcony twenty feet below. It was not a great distance, and at first, Friedrich seemed only shaken. However, he suffered from hemophilia, and had begun bleeding on the brain. He lapsed into unconsciousness that afternoon and died. Ernest Louis was inconsolable. "When I die, you must die too, and all the others. Why can't we all die together? I don't want to die alone, like Frittie." He told his nurse. To his mother he said, "I dreamt that I was dead and was gone up to Heaven, and there I asked God to let me have Frittie again and he came to me and took my hand." The younger child's grave became a place of regular pilgrimage for the family, causing Ernest Louis to become obsessed with thoughts of death and dying alone.

In 1878, an epidemic of diphtheria swept through Darmstadt. All of the children (except Princess Elisabeth, who was sent to stay with their paternal grandmother) and their father fell ill. Princess Alice cared for her sick husband and children, but on November 16, the youngest of them, Princess May, died. Alice kept the news from her family for several weeks, until Ernest Louis, who was devoted to little May, asked for his sister. Ernest Louis was overcome with grief when his mother revealed May's death. In an effort to comfort her grieving son, Alice kissed him, and within a week, fell ill and soon died, on December 14. Her death was a burden that Ernest Louis bore for the rest of his life.

Even after his death, however, his childhood wish to not die alone echoed into the next generation. Shortly after his father's death, Prince Louis was to marry the Hon. Margaret Campbell-Geddes in England. His older brother, the Hereditary Grand Duke George Donatus, and the rest of the family planned to take a plane from Hesse to England. However, the plane never reached its destination. George Donatus, along with his wife, Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark, their two young sons, Louis and Alexander, his mother Grand Duchess Eleonore, the children's nurse and a family friend died in an accident when their plane crashed near Ostend on their way to his brother's marriage. Cecilie was pregnant with her fourth child at the time of the crash and the stillborn infant was found among the remains. Their youngest child, Johanna, who was not on the plane, was adopted by her uncle Louis, who was to remain childless. The little girl survived her parents and brothers by eighteen months, dying in 1939 of meningitis.


On April 19 1894 Ernest Louis married his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, ("Ducky") in Coburg, on the encouragement of their mutual grandmother, Queen Victoria. The marriage was not a happy one. They had two children, a daughter, Elisabeth, born in 1895, who died of typhoid fever at age eight, and a stillborn son, on 25 May 1900. The couple became estranged and the two were divorced December 21, 1901, on the grounds of "invincible mutual antipathy" by a special verdict of the Supreme Court of Hesse. Victoria Melita later told others that she was tired of Ernest Louis's constant homosexual affairs.Fact|date=August 2008

Ernest Louis remarried, in Darmstadt on 2 February 1905, to Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (September 17 1871 - November 16 1937), with whom he had two sons:
*Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (1906-1937), who married Princess Cecilie of Greece (sister of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), and had issue.
*Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine (1908-1968). Married Margaret Campbell Geddes, no issue. He adopted Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse as heir.

Grand Duke of Hesse

In 1892 Ernest Louis succeeded his father as Grand Duke.

Throughout his life, Ernest Louis was a patron of the arts, founding the Darmstadt Artists' Colony, and was himself an author of poems, plays, essays, and piano compositions. Ernest Louis served in the German military during World War I, and was asked to abdicate during the revolution of 1918 but never did. He lost his throne as it was simply abolished.

In October 1937, Ernest Louis died at Schloß Wolfsgarten, near Darmstadt in Hesse. Although he had not reigned in Hesse for nearly twenty years he received what amounted to a State funeral on November 16 1937. He was buried in the Rosenhohe, the traditional burial place of the Hesse family.


style=font-size: 90%; line-height: 110%;
boxstyle=padding-top: 0; padding-bottom: 0;
boxstyle_1=background-color: #fcc;
boxstyle_2=background-color: #fb9;
boxstyle_3=background-color: #ffc;
boxstyle_4=background-color: #bfc;
boxstyle_5=background-color: #9fe;
1= 1. Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
2= 2. Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse
3= 3. Princess Alice of the United Kingdom
4= 4. Prince Karl of Hesse and by Rhine
5= 5. Princess Elizabeth of Prussia
6= 6. Albert, Prince Consort
7= 7. Victoria of the United Kingdom
8= 8. Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse
9= 9. Princess Wilhelmine of Baden
10= 10. Prince Wilhelm of Prussia
11= 11. Landgravine Maria Anna of Hesse-Homburg
12= 12. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
13= 13. Princess Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
14= 14. Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn
15= 15. Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
16= 16. Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse
17= 17. Landgravine Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt
18= 18. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden
19= 19. Landgravine Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
20= 20. Frederick William II of Prussia
21= 21. Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt
22= 22. Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
23= 23. Landgravine Caroline of Hesse-Darmstadt
24= 24. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
25= 25. Princess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
26= 26. Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
27= 27. Duchess Louise Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
28= 28. George III of the United Kingdom
29= 29. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
30= 30. Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (= 24)
31= 31. Princess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf (= 25)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse — Infobox Monarch|majesty name =Louis IV title =Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine caption =Ludwig IV, 1878 reign =13 June, 1877 – 13 March, 1892 coronation = othertitles = HRH The Grand Duke of Hesse HRH Prince Ludwig of Hesse HGDH Prince Ludwig of… …   Wikipedia

  • Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse — Infobox Greek Royalty name = Prince Georg Donatus title = Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse styles = HRH The Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse date of birth = birth date|1906|11|8 place of birth = Darmstadt, Germany date of death = death date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia — Infobox Russian Royalty|grand duke name = Sergei Alexandrovich title =Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia imgw = 200px caption = spouse = Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine issue = imperial house =House of Holstein Gottorp Romanov… …   Wikipedia

  • Ernest Louis — ▪ grand duke of Hesse Darmstadt German in full  Ernst Ludwig Karl Albrecht Wilhelm   born November 25, 1868, Darmstadt, Hesse Darmstadt [Germany] died October 9, 1937, near Darmstadt       grand duke of Hesse Darmstadt from 1892 until his… …   Universalium

  • Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia — Infobox Russian Royalty|grand duke name = Alexei Alexandrovich title =Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia imgw = 200px caption = spouse = Alexandra Vasilievna Zhukovskaya issue = Alexei Alexandrovich imperial house =House of Holstein… …   Wikipedia

  • Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt — Louis IX of Hesse Darmstadt (German: Ludwig ) (December 15, 1719 ndash; May 13, 1790) was the Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt from 1768 1790. He was a son of Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt, and Charlotte of Hanau Lichtenberg and… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich of Russia — Grand Duke Nicholas Constantinovich Spouse Nadedja Alexandrovna von Dreyer Issue Prince Artemy Nikolaievich Romanovsky Iskander Prince Aleksandr Nikolaievich Romanovsky Iskander House House of Holstein Gottorp Romanov Father …   Wikipedia

  • Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt — Louis VIII (Ger. Ludwig ) (5 April 1691 17 October 1768) was the Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt from 1739 1768. He was the son of Ernest Louis, Landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt and Margravine Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg Ansbach. He was married to …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Duchy of Hesse — Infobox Former Country native name = Großherzogtum Hessen und bei Rhein conventional long name = Grand Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine common name = Hesse| continent = Europe region = Germany country = Germany era = government type = Monarchy| year… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia — Infobox Russian Royalty|grand duke name = Constantine Constantinovich title =Grand Duke Constantine Constantinovich of Russia imgw = 200px caption = spouse = Princess Elisabeth of Saxe Altenburg issue = Prince John Constantinovich Prince Gabriel… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”