Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Memorable Royal 1828!

Princess Feodora of Leiningen (b. 7 December 1807, d. 23 September 1872) was the only daughter of Fürst Emich Carl of Leiningen (1763–1814) and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (later Saxe-Coburg & Gotha) (1786–1861).

Feodora and her older brother Fürst Carl of Leiningen were maternal half-siblings of Queen Victoria, as well as first cousins of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha, Victoria's beloved and talented husband.

On 29 May 1818 her mother remarried to Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. The following year she, along with the rest of the household, was taken to the United Kingdom as the Duchess' pregnancy came to an end, so that the new potential heir to the British throne could be born on British soil.

By all accounts, Feodora enjoyed a very close relationship with her half-sister, Victoria, who was devoted to her elder sister. Despite this, Feodora was eager to permanently leave their residence at Kensington Palace, as her "only happy time was driving out" with Victoria and her governess Baroness Louise Lehzen because she could "speak and look as she liked."

While living in London, Feodora came to the attention of King George IV, who in 1821 had become a widower. Fearing that Feodora's hand in marriage would be asked by her brother-in-law, the widowed Duchess of Kent became rather frantic. If her daughter were to marry King George, there was a possibility that children would be born out of the ghastly alliance. These children would therefore displace the children the Duke and Duchess of Clarence could have, as well as the only child of the late Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, Feodora's half-sister. On top of these threats, the Duchess of Kent despised George IV and she was not about to sacrifice her elder daughter to his machinations and desires.

Royal matrons got busy finding Feodora a potential, suitable husband. The best candidate was found by the Duchess of Clarence (Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen), who supported the cause of her first cousin, Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1794-1860), heir to considerable land holdings in Germany. On a visit to her Coburg grandmother, Feodora was introduced to Ernst; a good impression was made on the unsuspecting young princess; planning proceeded in earnest.

On 18 February 1828, she married Ernst at Kensington Palace. Soo after the wedding, Feodora and Ernst returned to Germany and settled at  Schloss Langenburg, his family seat. The prince had no actual domain as the principality had been mediatised to Württemberg in 1806. Feodora maintained a lifelong correspondence with her half-sister, and was granted an allowance of £300 whenever she could visit England.

Ernst and Feodora had six children: Fürst Carl (1829-1907), who renounced his rights and married morganatically and was created Fürst of Weickersheim; Elise (1830-1850); Fürst Hermann (1832-1913), who succeeded his brother Carl and is the direct ancestor of the present Head of House, Fürst Philipp; Viktor (1833-1891), who married morganatically and his descendants were created Counts of Gleichen; Adelheid (1835-1900), who married Duke Friedrich of Scheswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1829-1880), by whom she became the mother of Augusta Viktoria, first wife of kaiser Wilhelm II; and Feodora (1839-1872), who married Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen, both being ancestors of the late Archduchess Regina, beloved wife of the late Archduke Otto of Austria.

Feodora's daughter the Duchess of of Saxe-Meiningen died in early 1872 of scarlet fever, and Feodora herself died later that year.

She remained a lifelong confidante of her half sister Queen Victoria, who felt deeply the loss of her adored sister, correspondent and friend.

Between 1881 and 1981 there have been nineteen marriages between descendants of Fürstin Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Queen Victoria. This long list of alliances between their progeny makes the core study of a book I am working on: Victorian Legacy – The Long-Standing Connections between Queen Victoria's Descendants and the Princely House of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. In fact, one set of descendants, the children of Fürst Andreas and Fürstin Alexandra of Leiningen are descendants of all three children of the Duchess of Kent: Carl, Feodora and Victoria.

I am including the list of marriages between descendants of Feodora and Victoria:

Descendant of Feodora                                 Descendant of Victoria
Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein      =1881=   Kaiser Wilhelm II
Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg                  =1896=    Alexandra of Edinburgh
Viktoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein    =1905=    Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg
Alexandra Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein  =1908=    August Wilhelm of Prussia
Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen                         =1914=    Adalbert of Prussia
Friedrich of Schleswig-Holstein                   =1916=    Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Karl of Leiningen                                            =1925=     Maria of Russia
Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg          =1931=     Margarita of Greece
Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg                                   =1932=     Gustaf Adolf of Sweden
Frederika of Hannover                                   =1938=     Paul I of Greece
Louis Ferdinand of Prussia                            =1938=     Kira of Russia
Viktoria Luisw of Solms-Baruth                   =1942=     Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg
Georg Wilhelm of Hannover                         =1946=     Sophie of Greece
Sophie of Greece                                             =1962=      Juan Carlos I of Spain
Kira Melita of Leiningen                               =1963=      Andrei of Yugoslavia
Constantine II of Greece                                =1964=      Anne-Marie of Denmark
Franz Wilhelm of Prussia                              =1976=      Maria of Russia
Friedrich Ernst of Saxe-Meinnigen              =1977=      Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg
Andreas of Leiningen                                    =1981=      Alexandra of Hannover

Fürstin Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg


  1. I did a little article on the beautiful Princess in the Journal last year, I think. quite a remarkable lady, very loving and supportive of her children and always devoted to Queen Victoria. One of my favorites! Beautiful piece, Art!

  2. Since many years I trying to collect all Feodora's descendants on my page "Descendants of Queen Victoria's siblings" .

  3. Since many years I trying to collect all Feodora's descendants on my page "Descendants of Queen Victoria's siblings" .

  4. Hey! I am working on a history project about Feodora and found your page very useful. Thank you!