Elisabeth Christine Ulrike – Rumor as well as Expatriation in the Court of Prussia

Elisabeth Christine Ulrike of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was quickly a Crown Princess of Prussia as the very first partner of Crown Royal prince Frederick William up until her disobedience as well as rejection to play in addition to their double-standards obtained her banished forever.

A Miserable Early Life

Elisabeth Christine Ulrike was birthed in 1746 as the tenth youngster of Carl I as well as Lady Philippine Charlotte of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel.

Elisabeth’s mommy, Lady Philippine Charlotte

Elisabeth was the 3rd little girl birthed to the pair, as well as among her siblings was Anna Amalia, later on Lady of Weimar as well as close friend as well as fan of Goethe. The women’ childhood years had not been a pleased one. Their mommy was extremely enlightened, energetic both as a customer of the arts and also as an author of songs, yet obviously was a stringent moms and dad that revealed little love to her kids.

Like her older sis, Elisabeth was wed off to the companion considered to be optimum by her connections. In her sis Anna Amalia’s situation, that marital relationship was ultimately to bring her significant power as well as freedom following her spouse’s sudden death.

Yet the effects of Elisabeth’s marital relationship led her down a completely various course, to a life she might never ever have actually pictured.

A Doomed Marital Relationship

At a young age, Elisabeth was chosen as a bride-to-be for her very first relative as well as beneficiary to the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm.

A spouse was quickly required, in the King’s sight, to bring his party-boy nephew back on the straight as well as slim. Whilst Friedrich Wilhelm’s focus was taken in with the sober self-controls of war, songs as well as viewpoint, the Crown Royal prince was popular for liking, cough, enjoyments of an extra sensuous nature, as well as was not toning up to be excellent future king of Prussia in his uncle’s eyes.

The pair were wed in July 1765 as well as consequently relocated right into their brand-new living quarters in Potsdam.

Yet it quickly emerged that the Crown Royal prince had no objective of altering his wanton methods since he was a family man.

Wilhelmine von Lichtenau Wilhelmine von Lichtenau

Simply a couple of doors below the royal pair’s brand-new residence lived among the king’s artists, in addition to his little girl Wilhelmine that, although simply 13 years of ages, had actually currently brought in the Royal prince’s focus. He fixed that she must obtain a correct education and learning as well as must consequently become his girlfriend, as well as currently, following his weddings, he just proceeded with his“project” Nonetheless, this involved the King’s expertise as well as the Crown Royal prince was required to have Wilhelmine sent out away to Paris. She ran out the image, yet just briefly– their connection proceeded for years as well as she would certainly take place to have 6 kids by him.

Certainly, Elisabeth was quickly familiar with these wrongdoings– as well as probably this would not have actually troubled her spouse in the least. He saw no factor to maintain his constant events as well as dalliances key from her, obviously also commending the appeals of numerous other females to her face. Besides, a better half existed to generate genuine successors– past that she must just be loyal as well as passive.

Yet regrettably for him, these were not words that defined Elisabeth Christine Ulrike.

She was a lively, honored as well as stubborn lady, that had not been mosting likely to wait as well as allow her spouse degrade her. She discovered methods to appreciate herself as well as protect her dignity: she would regularly see her auntie Elisabeth, the Queen, at her royal residence in the north of Berlin, as well as demanded making these gos to on horseback, riding astride like a guy. This increased brows, as it was thought not to be for maternity.

Expatriation from the Court

Nonetheless, in 1776 came the unexpected information that Elisabeth was certainly expecting. As for the court was worried, this had actually not gotten on the cards: her spouse was presently even more inhabited with a lovely countess than with his partner.

However for Elisabeth though, she brought to life a little girl, as well as not the hoped-for man beneficiary.

King Friedrich was dissatisfied yet wished that more maternities would certainly currently adhere to; nonetheless, Elisabeth still did not show up ready to play her designated component of devoted partner as well as holder of kids.

She remained to appreciate herself, dancing as well as steed riding, as well as there were currently reports that she had enthusiasts. After being degraded by her spouse’s consistent cheatings, she was obtaining her vengeance, as well as naturally, Friedrich Wilhelm was not pleased in all; nonetheless, the King hesitated to accept a separation, recognizing just how much this would certainly injure his sis Philippine Charlotte. He likewise had some compassion for his niece as well as might see exactly how she had actually been driven to her indiscretions by his nephew’s habits.

Yet eventually, where such conduct might be neglected or excused in a royal prince, it just might not be endured in a princess.

And also when the outrageous discovery came that Elisabeth was intending to leave to Italy with her enthusiast, an artist called Pietro, the King had no option yet to grant a separation, whilst bad old Pietro was jailed as well as apparently later performed.

Elisabeth Christine Ulrike Elisabeth’s little girl, Princess Frederica Charlotte of Prussia

The imperial marital relationship was annulled in April1769 Simply 2 days later on, Elisabeth discovered that her penalty would certainly be life-long banishment, which she would certainly be accompanied to the community of Stettin (after that component of Prussia now in Poland) that extremely night.

The information obviously came as a shock to her as well as she was distressed– naturally so: she was to be divided for life from individuals she liked as well as all that knew to her. She was never ever to see her little girl once again, or the remainder of her family members not that the majority of them desired anything even more to do with her: on the following celebration that her mommy Philippine Charlotte saw King Friedrich, she is claimed to have actually informed him that she“cursed the day when she brought such an abhorrent daughter into the world”


Upon arrival in Stettin, she was required to the castle there that had lengthy stood vacant, where she was appointed a collection of spaces as well as offered with 2 women in waiting. Therefore her brand-new life started.

Elisabeth’s New Life in Expatriation

To start with, she was under close monitoring, as well as was allowed to leave her spaces just to go across the gangway to the church.

Nonetheless, she should not be envisioned as suffering in some type of bare cell-like quarters with just bread as well as water to endure on. Records reveal, for instance, that there was inadequate satin readily available in Stettin for Elisabeth to cover her chairs with, which I believe certifies as a first-world trouble. Also a disgraced princess is still a princess, as well as it would not be suitable to deny her of satin covered chairs. She was likewise offered with numerous personnel consisting of an assistant, an accounting professional as well as a chef.

As time took place, she progressively obtained even more liberty: she was allowed to head out strolling, which she did worn sensible garments with much shorter skirts than were the style; a design that regional females obviously attempted to replicate, with much less than classy outcomes. She came to be a preferred number in Stettin culture as well as was welcomed to the houses of the regional the aristocracy. She was likewise an eager needlewoman, wanted songs as well as was dedicated to her pet dog canines.

Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt Friedrich Wilhelm’s brand-new partner, Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt

Her previous spouse, on the other hand, had actually remarried not long after he separated Elisabeth. His brand-new partner, Friederike of Hessen-Darmstadt, appears to have actually been every little thing that Elisabeth was not. Silent, practical as well as manageable, as well as not considered as eye-catching or skilled, she dutifully birthed Friedrich Wilhelm 8 kids, whilst he proceeded his connection with Wilhelmine.

Later on after he came to be king of Prussia, as well as with his partner still quite active, he wed not one, yet 2 of her women in waiting. Poor Friederike was required to grant these marital relationships, yet a minimum of she had the nouse to do so just on the problem that her spouse repaid her considerable financial obligations

The years passed; the old century finished as well as a brand-new one started. Now, Elisabeth no more seemed like a slave. In 1806, Princess Luise Radziwill went through Stettin on her trip from Napoleonic soldiers as well as paid Elisabeth a check out. She reported that Elisabeth, currently 60 years old, kept the vigor as well as spontaneous nature of her Young People as well as consulted with impressive jollity regarding the occasions that had actually initially brought her to Stettin.

Elisabeth Christine’s Tradition

As you can picture, she was an epic number also within her very own life time, as well as there were numerous tales outlined her. She was claimed to have actually had every one of her furnishings cushioned in blue as well as yellow textile, the colours of your home of Braunschweig (a method of insisting her identification as well as distancing herself from the Prussians that had actually brought such misery upon her). She was a passionate knitter, as well as her slaves were required to join her in this profession, creating many things in blue as well as yellow woollen.

On the various other hand, she quipped that she really did not intend to be put to rest alongside the “the old guys in Braunschweig”, therefore her choice to have a huge mausoleum constructed for herself in the castle premises.

She is likewise claimed to have actually taken a naughty satisfaction in humiliating individuals in her seniority: according to one narrative, a pastor had actually involved her residence to commemorate Holy Communion with her as well as therefore assist her spiritual redemption. Yet her preferred canine was remaining on the chair alongside her, as well as given that she rejected to relocate in spite of the pastor’s demand, the solution might not occur.

She is intended to have actually respected kids, providing deals with when they involved see her. Once, she obviously obtained a big amount of salt (a costly asset at the time), producing a white hillside for the regional kids to sled down in the center of summertime.

Elisabeth Christine Ulrike passed away in 1840 at the grand seniority of 93, suggesting that she had actually invested a monstrous 70 years in expatriation. Her funeral service was gone to by the terrific as well as the good of Stettin, as well as all the bells in the city sounded out to note completion of the lengthy as well as impressive life of the previous Crown Princess of Prussia, that had actually later happened understood just as “Lisbeth of Stettin”.

Lecture at the Institut für Braunschweigische Regionalgeschichte by Gerd Biegel, plus some extra details that he kindly offered me with
Frauen der Welfen, Elisabeth Kwan et alia, 2011

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