Queen of Montenegro; born Duchess of Mecklenburg, Princess of Wenden, Schwerin and Ratzeburg, Countess of Schwerin, Lady of the Lands of Rostock and Stargard
Duchess Jutta, later Queen Militza of Montenegro, was born at 5am on 24 January 1880 in Neustrelitz. She was the second of the four children of Hereditary Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich and his wife Hereditary Grand Duchess Elisabeth, née Princess of Anhalt. With an older sister Marie, the birth of Jutta meant the wait for a male heir to the grand duchy went on. The country did not have to wait too long however as just two years later her brother Adolf Friedrich was born. The family was completed in 1888 with the birth of Carl Borwin.
Duchess Jutta of Mecklenburg
Duchess Jutta was christened in Neustrelitz on 24 February receiving the names Augusta
Charlotte Jutta Alexandra Georgine Adolfine. Her godparents were: the German Empress,
the Princess of Wales and her sister the Tsesarevna of Russia, the Grand Duchess
Mother of Mecklenburg-
The granddaughter of two reigning sovereigns in the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-
In the spring of 1896 with Jutta and Marie now in their late teens their British grandmother, the Grand Duchess Augusta, decided to take the sisters with her during one of her regular trips to her native England. During their trip the Grand Duchess introduced her granddaughters to London society and took them to visit a number of sights around London such as the Tower of London, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the theatre and the opera. However unfortunately for the sisters during the trip they both contracted the measles which forced them to miss the famous Derby and Ascot races. .
Jutta spent the winter season of 1898 at the Imperial Court in Russia where she was
chaperoned by her cousin Duchess Helene of Mecklenburg, a member of the Russian branch
of the House of Mecklenburg-
With Jutta a Lutheran and Prince Danilo and the people of Montenegro Orthodox Christian’s,
Prince Danilo requested that Jutta adopt his and his countrymen’s Eastern Orthodox
faith. As her father raised no objection Jutta agreed to adopt her husband’s faith.
Prince Danilo then arranged for the Provost Malzeff, a priest at the Russian embassy
in Berlin, to give Jutta religious instruction in Orthodox Christianity. In Mecklenburg
the decision of Jutta to change her religion proved to be controversial among the
country’s Lutherans who were proud of the example that had been set by another Mecklenburg
duchess, Marie of Mecklenburg-
The wedding was originally scheduled to take place in Berlin but the German Emperor Wilhelm II, angry at Jutta’s planned conversion to the Orthodox faith, refused to allow the wedding to take place in his capital. So instead the wedding was rescheduled for 27 July 1899 in Cetinje, the capital of the Principality of Montenegro.
Although the location and date had been set the marriage almost never took place
due to a disagreement over who would receive the money that Jutta would bring to
the marriage. Her family insisted that only the bridegroom would have access to the
money, and even then he would only be able to draw on the interest generated. Prince
Danilo’s father Prince Nikola was unhappy with this arrangement as he had hoped to
receive the money himself. As such he spread a false rumour that his son was gravely
ill and that the marriage may have to be called off. With negotiations between the
two families ongoing and a postponement possible Jutta was also reported as ill.
With all this going on Prince Danilo was busy making his manor house near Antivari
ready for his future wife. As such he was unaware of his own supposed illness and
the ongoing discussions between Montenegro and Mecklenburg-
After an emotional send off in Neustrelitz where she said her goodbyes to her father who was unable to attend the wedding due to illness, Jutta, accompanied by her mother and brother Adolf Friedrich, set off for her wedding. They arrived in the Montenegrin coastal town of Antivari at 9pm on 25 July two days before the wedding was to take place. At 10 am the following morning Jutta went to a specially consecrated private house in the town where she was received into the Orthodox faith taking the name Militza. As her mother and brother did not wish to witness her conversion Jutta was accompanied by Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich of Russia. For the wedding Militza, as she was now known, wore her new country’s national costume. She married Prince Danilo at 5pm on 27 July, the wedding being declared a national holiday in Montenegro. Upon returning to Prince Danilo’s pavilion the newlywed couple appeared on the balcony before an enthusiastic population who had never witnessed a wedding on this scale before. The wedding festivities included a firework display, the illumination of the town and surrounding hills, a torchlight procession and a military tattoo.
After the uncertainty over whether the wedding would even take place, once wed Militza tried to make herself popular among her husband’s future subjects. Outside of the country Prince Danilo and Militza often represented the Montenegrin Royal Family at royal events in Europe. They were the only members of a foreign reigning house to attend the 1904 coronation of their brother in law King Petar Karadjordjevic of Serbia, the new king having come to the throne the previous year on the regicide of King Aleksander Obrenovic.
At the time of her marriage Montenegro was only a principality. As such there was no reason to assume that Militza would follow in the footsteps of Queen Charlotte of Great Britain, Queen Luise of Prussia and Queen Friederike of Hanover and become the fourth Strelitz princesses to become a queen consort. However in 1910 the situation changed with Militza’s father in law Prince Nikola declaring Montenegro a kingdom. As a result Militza saw her status increase from being Her Highness the Hereditary Princess of Montenegro to Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Montenegro. One of the couples early official trips abroad following the increase in status was to the coronation in 1911 of the new British king, George V.
Domestically the establishment of the kingdom saw Montenegro became engulfed in various wars. In 1912 during the First Balkan War with the country facing a shortage of doctors Militza personally took charge of the task of directing treatment for the wounded at the provisional hospitals. When the First World War broke out a couple of years later Militza and her husband narrowly escaped death in assassination attempt when an Austrian pilot tried to drop a bomb on the couple as they landed in Antivari having just disembarked from a French warship. The Austrians continued to target the couple bombing their villa in Antivari with the attack blinding one of Militza’s maids of honour. .
Queen of Montenegro
Against the superior strength of the Central powers Militza and the rest of the Royal
Family were eventually forced to leave Montenegro for exile in France where King
Nikola formed a government in exile. With victory for the allies the Serbians on
13 November 1918 announced the annexation of Montenegro, incorporating it into the
new Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). King Nikola and
With the monarchy in both the country of her birth and the country of her husband
coming to an end, Militza, refusing to recognise the Grand Ducal Family’s settlement
when they lost the throne, began legal proceedings against the new republican Free
State of Mecklenburg-
With her claims now settled Militza lived quietly in the South of France, still occasionally
appearing in public at family weddings and funerals. She was widowed on 24 September
1939 with the death of her husband ex-
Honours and decorations