World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel

 

Landgravine Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel

Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
Electress Palatine

Charlotte at the time of her marriage in 1650, unknown artist
Spouse Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Issue
Charles, Elector Palatine
Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orléans
Father William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
Mother Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg
Born (1627-11-20)20 November 1627
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Died 26 March 1686(1686-03-26) (aged 58)
Heidelberg Castle, Heidelberg, Germany
Religion Calvinism

Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel (Kassel, 20 November 1627 – Heidelberg, 26 March 1686) was the consort of Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and mother of Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate.

Biography

Her parents were William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and Amalie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg. Her future marriage to her cousin Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, was regarded as highly advantageous. However, her own mother warned the Elector of Charlotte's foul temper. She is described as a tall blonde girl, with long legs and a beautiful bust.

She married at Heidelberg Castle on February 22, 1650 Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine and had three children, two of whom survived infancy. At first all went well as Charles Louis became wildly infatuated with his wife and started his task of providing the Palatinate with an heir. According to his sister Sophia, 'his passion had impaired his intellect', though he was also quite jealous. If she criticised him, he would go into a rage but their quarrels were made up at night with audible violence.

Charlotte excelled at equestrian talents (as her daughter would), but Charles Louis objected to women on horseback. She loved gambling, which Charles Louis regarded as a waste of money.

To the joy of the Palatinate and Charles Louis, a son was born in 1651 and in 1652 a daughter. When Charles Louis went to the Electors' Diet in Prague, he infuriated Charlotte by not taking her. At this time the sixteen year-old Marie Luise von Degenfeld came to their court, where she was regarded as not very pretty and naive. Marie Luise would become Charles Louis' mistress and starting in 1658, would bear him 13 children while he was still married to Charlotte.

After his return Charles Louis took his wife and his sisters, Elizabeth and Sophia, to the festivities accompanying the coronation of Archduke Charles as his father's successor. Charlotte was again furious, as she was pregnant and unable to wear the French dresses especially bought for the occasion. The baby died a few hours after birth and Charlotte was very ill and could not be moved for weeks.

In 1654 Charles Louis's brother, Prince Rupert, came to visit Heidelberg and soon Charlotte realised Rupert was in love with Marie Luise. In order to prevent nocturnal visits, Charlotte made Luise sleep in her bedroom. Trying to protect Luise from Rupert, she had not realised that her own husband had fallen in love with the same girl. However, one night Charlotte woke up and, maintaining that she had found her husband in bed with Luise, she attacked the girl, almost biting off her little finger. Charles Louis protected Luise and called in the guard to restrain Charlotte. The following day Charles Louis installed Luise in an apartment directly above his own, which was made accessible to him by a secret passage. Soon Charlotte found out and had to be prevented from ascending the same ladder with a knife in her hand.

From then onward, Charlotte maintained that she was kept a prisoner in her apartments. She beat her servants and, if they were found to be spying on her behalf, they were dismissed by her husband. Charles Louis made sure not to be anywhere near Charlotte, who was pitied by everyone. In accordance with his rights, he divorced Charlotte but kept this a secret until after his sister Sophie's wedding. As soon as these festivities were over, Charles Louis published the divorce documents and declared himself to be married to Louise von Degenfeld, though many questioned the legality of the divorce.

Charlotte ruined her relations with Sophie when she admitted that she had married Charles Louis against her own wishes, saying that she would have preferred several others over this 'jealous old man'. Soon it was Charlotte who became jealous of Sophie who seemed to be on much better terms with Charles Louis. Charlotte felt herself excluded from their conversations and never understood their jokes. As a result of her unhappy marriage, Charlotte's children were sent to live with their paternal aunt Sophia in Hanover.

Since her divorce, Charlotte lived the next twenty-three years in obscurity, only to emerge after the death of Charles Louis, when their son became the next Elector Palatine. However, she had remained difficult and ill-tempered until her death, six years later.

Her husband's sister, Electress Sophia of Hanover, commented, when Charlotte, after her death, was dressed for burial that it was the first time that she was dressed without attacking or hitting someone.

Issue

Name Birth Death Notes
Charles of the Palatinate 31 March 1651 26 May 1685 succeeded as Elector Palatine
married, 1671, Princess Wilhelmina Ernestine of Denmark; no issue;
Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate 27 May 1652 8 December 1722 married, 1671, Philippe I, Duke of Orléans; had issue;
Frederick of the Palatinate 12 May 1653 13 May 1653 died in infancy;

Ancestry

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

References and notes


Preceded by
Maria Anna of Austria
Electress Palatine
22 February 1650–1657
Succeeded by
Wilhelmina Ernestine of Denmark
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.