Strelitz Queens

In the 18th and early 19th century three princesses of the ducal house made highly prestigious marriages which not only raised the profile of the house, but also placed the women alongside their husbands on the thrones of some of the most powerful kingdoms in Europe. The first of the three princesses to marry was Charlotte, daughter of Carl, Prince of Mirow, who was wed in 1761 to the British king, George III.

The next generation of princesses made just as impressive matches beginning in 1793 with Luise, daughter of Duke Carl (later Grand Duke), who was married to Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia. She became Queen of Prussia in November 1797 when her father in law died, and her husband succeeded to the throne as King Friedrich Wilhelm III.

The last of the three was Friederike, sister of Queen Luise, who having been widowed twice was married in 1815 to her British cousin Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland. It was not until the death of the British and Hanoverian king William IV in 1837 that Friederike became a queen, however she did not become Queen of Great Britain like her aunt Charlotte. Instead she became Queen of Hanover as that kingdom operated under the salic law of succession, meaning only males could ascend the throne thus excluding the new British queen, Victoria, from the succession, with the throne passing instead to her husband the Duke of Cumberland.

The trend of a Strelitz princess being queen almost continued for a third generation but the 1841 marriage of Caroline, daughter of Grand Duke Georg, to the Danish crown prince Frederik was an unhappy one, ending in divorce in 1846 before he succeeded to the throne as King Frederik VII.

In 1889 the Duchess Jutta was married to Hereditary Prince Danilo of Montenegro. Jutta, known as Militza after her conversion to the Orthodox faith was the eldest daughter of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V. In August 1910 the prospect of another Strelitz queen appeared as Montenegro was proclaimed a kingdom.  However the First World War effectively put an end to this prospect as in 1918 the Kingdom of Montenegro was incorporated by Serbia into the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later called Yugoslavia). However Militza’s father in law King Nikola never accepted this and maintained a government-in-exile. With his death in 1921 Militza’s husband Crown Prince Danilo was proclaimed King of Montenegro, although one week later he abdicated in favour of his nephew. Thus for one week Militza could be regarded as Queen of Montenegro, and the last Strelitz queen.

To read an individual biography select from the options below.

Charlotte, Queen of Great Britain and Hanover

Duchess Charlotte, born 19 May 1744, died 17 November 1818. Daughter of Duke Carl and Duchess Elizabeth Albertine. Married to King George III of Great Britain. (under construction)

Luise, Queen of Prussia

Duchess Luise, born 10 March 1776, died 19 July 1810. Daughter of Grand Duke Carl and Duchess Friederike. Married to King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia. (under construction)

Friederike, Queen of Hanover

Duchess Friederike, born 2 March 1778, died 29 June 1841. Daughter of Grand Duke Carl and Duchess Friederike. Married thirdly to King Ernst August of Hanover. (Read More)

Militza (Jutta), Queen of Montenegro

Duchess Jutta, born 24 January 1880; died 17 February 1946. Daughter of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V and Grand Duchess Elisabeth. Married to King Danilo of Montenegro. (Read More)

29 October 2018