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Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse

Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse

Grandmother of George II of Great Britain and great-grandmother of Frederick the Great
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Grandmother of George II of Great Britain and great-grandmother of Frederick the Great
Countries France Germany
Occupations Lady-in-waiting
Gender female
Birth 3 February 1639 (Niort, canton of Niort-Est, arrondissement of Niort, Deux-Sèvres)
Death 5 February 1722 (Celle, Celle, Lüneburg, Province of Hanover)
Spouse: George WilliamDuke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Children: Sophia Dorothea of Celle
The details

Éléonore Marie Desmier d'Olbreuse (3 January 1639 – 5 February 1722) was the wife of George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She was Countess of Wilhelmsburg from 1674 and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1676. She was the mother of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who was the wife of George I. Thus she is the maternal grandmother of George II


Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse was born at the Castle of Olbreuse in Deux-Sèvres near Niort, France into a Huguenot family of lower nobility. Her parents were Alexandre Desmier d'Olbreuse and Jacquette Poussard du Bas-Vandré et de Saint-Marc. She went to the royal court in Paris as a lady-in-waiting in the service of Marie de la Tour d'Auvergne, Duchess of Thouars, whose son had married Emily of Hesse-Kassel, daughter of William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, in 1648.

In the winter of 1664 Éléonore accompanied the Duchess of Thouars who visited her son in Kassel. There the beautiful Éléonore met the unmarried George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who immediately fell in love with her.

Éléonore became his mistress and received the title Lady of Harburg. In 1666 their only child, Sophie Dorothea, was born. In 1674 the child was legitimised and Éléonore became the Duchess of Wilhelmsburg. Two years later the couple could finally marry. It was a happy marriage.

Their daughter was married in 1682 to George Louis, the son of her father's brother, Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, for dynastical reasons. The marriage was a disaster. Finally Sophia Dorothea was imprisoned by her husband in the Castle of Ahlden for the rest of her life. During the last years of her life, Éléonore cared for her daughter and tried to obtain her release, without success.

Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse died on 5 February 1722, nearly blind, in Celle Castle, Celle. She mentioned 342 persons in her will. She was buried in the Stadtkirche St. Marien (town church of St. Mary) in Celle.



German nobility
Preceded by
Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Served alongside: 1) Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate and 2) Sophia of Hannover
Title next held by
Caroline of Ansbach
Title last held by
Hedwig of the Palatinate-Sulzbach
Duchess consort of Saxe-Lauenburg
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