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Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf

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Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf

Countess Augusta Reuss of Ebersdorf
Duchess consort of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Tenure 1800–1806
Born (1757-01-19)19 January 1757
Saalburg-Ebersdorf
Died 16 November 1831(1831-11-16) (aged 74)
Coburg
Spouse Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
Issue
More
Princess Sophie, Countess von Mensdorff-Pouilly
Princess Antoinette, Duchess Alexander of Württemberg
Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna of Russia
Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Prince Ferdinand
Princess Victoria, Duchess of Kent and Strathearn
Leopold I of Belgium
Full name
Augusta Caroline Sophie
House House of Wettin
House of Reuss
Father Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf
Mother Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg

Countess (later Princess) Augusta Caroline Sophie Reuss of Ebersdorf (German: Gräfin Reuß zu Ebersdorf) (19 January 1757 – 16 November 1831), was by marriage a duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. She was born in Saalburg-Ebersdorf. She was the maternal grandmother of Queen Victoria and the paternal grandmother of Albert, Prince Consort.

Family

She was the second of seven children of Heinrich XXIV, Count Reuss of Ebersdorf and his wife Karoline Ernestine of Erbach-Schönberg. Her birthplace, Ebersdorf, was a center of Pietism in Thuringia and Augusta's grandparents were ardent admirers of this religious movement. Augusta's great-aunt Countess Erdmuthe Dorothea, by marriage Countess of Zinzendorf was married to the founder of the Moravian Church. This background explains the deep religious feelings of Princess Augusta in later years.

Marriage

Augusta was one of the most beautiful women of her time. Her father commissioned a portrait of Augusta as Artemisia by the painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. Count Heinrich XXIV showed this painting during the Perpetual Diet so potential marriage candidates were aware of his beautiful daughter.

In Ebersdorf on 13 June 1777 Augusta married Franz Frederick Anton, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Duke Franz previously acquired the Artemisia painting for four times the original price because he was deeply in love with Augusta, but he had to marry a relative, Princess Sophie of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Princess Sophie died seven months after the wedding, so the Duke was free to pursue the hand of his beloved.

During her marriage, Augusta bore her husband ten children; some of them played important roles in European history: Victoria, Duchess of Kent, and King Leopold I of Belgium.

Issue

{ border="1" style="border-collapse: collapse;"|- bgcolor="#cccccc" !Name!!Date of birth!!Date of death!!Age at death!!Notes |- |Louise of Orléans and his children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. First king of the Belgians under the name of Leopold I. |- |Franz Maximilian Ludwig||12 December 1792, in Coburg||3 January 1793, in Coburg||22 days|| |- |}

Notable descendants

Countess Augusta is the grandmother of many notable monarchs of Europe, including both Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (through her mother Victoria) and her husband, Prince Albert (through his father Ernst), King Consort of Portugal Ferdinand II (through his father Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), and also Empress Carlota of Mexico and her brother Leopold II of Belgium (through their father Leopold I who was elected King of the Belgians on 26 June 1831.)

Elevation to Princess

The House of Reuss became princes on 9 April 1806, and all the surviving members of the Ebersdorf-Lobenstein line (including Augusta) bore the title Prince(ss) Reuss of Ebersdorf (German: Fürst/Fürstin Reuß zu Ebersdorf, Jüngere Linie) . Augusta died in Coburg on 16 November 1831, aged seventy-four, five months after the election of her son Leopold as King of the Belgians.

Ancestry

References

  • Gertraude Bachmann: Natur und Kunst in den Reisetagebüchern der Herzogin Auguste Caroline Sophie von Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld (text of the lecture from the 175th anniversary of Duchess Augusta's death on 16 November 2006 at the Naturkunde-Museum Coburg), Coburg 2006.

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