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Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria

Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria

Prussian princess
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Prussian princess
Countries Bavaria
Occupations Princess
Gender female
Birth November 13, 1801 (Munich, Upper Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany)
Death December 14, 1873 (Dresden, Dresden Directorate District, Saxony, Germany)
Mother: Caroline of Baden
Father: Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria
Spouse: Frederick William IV of Prussia
The details

Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (13 November 1801 – 14 December 1873) was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.


Early life

Elisabeth was born in Munich, the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his Queen Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine Margravine of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Queen Amalie of Saxony, consort of King John I of Saxony, and sister of Archduchess Sophie of Austria, mother of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico; as well as Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria, mother of Franz Josef's consort, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi), who was Elisabeth's godchild and namesake. She was known within her family as Elise.

Silk pictures with the portraits of Friedrich Wilhelm IV and his consort Elisabeth. The board frame bears the legend: "The first pictures woven in silk / made in the year 1847 in the silk weaving factory of / Wilhelm and Carl Dieckmann in Elbersfeld / and presented by the manufacturer to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV / in a special audience."

Crown Princess

On 29 November 1823, she married the future King Frederick William IV of Prussia and supported his intellectual interests, namely his attempts at artwork, which he held dear to his heart. She refused to become a Protestant as a condition of her marriage, insisting that she would only convert if she was convinced on the merits of the reformed faith after studying it for herself. It was only 5 May 1830, seven years after her marriage, that Elisabeth formally converted to Protestantism.


Becoming Queen consort of Prussia in 1840, she was never without influence in Prussian politics, where she was active in preserving the close friendship between Prussia and the Austrian Empire.

To Frederick William IV, she was an exemplary wife and, during his long illness, a dedicated nurse. She was initially hostile to her nephew's wife, Victoria, Princess Royal, known within the family as Vicky, but their relationship thawed when Vicky took care of Elisabeth and comforted her during the early painful days of her widowhood. Elisabeth never forgot Vicky's kindness and in her will broke with tradition by leaving Vicky her jewels. These jewels were meant to have been bequeathed to the current Queen, (Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, Elisabeth's sister-in-law, who was by then Prussian Queen and German Empress); this was an offense for which Augusta never forgave Vicky.

Queen Dowager

After her husband's death on 2 January 1861, Elisabeth lived quietly at her seats at Sanssouci, Charlottenburg, and Stolzenfels and dedicated herself to charity work in memory of her late husband. Her brother-in-law, Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany, held her in high regard as a true friend.

During a visit to her sister, Queen Amalie of Saxony, Elisabeth died in 1873 in Dresden. She was buried next to her husband on 21 December at the Friedenskirche in Potsdam.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles

  • 13 November 1801 – 26 December 1805: Her Serene Highness Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria
  • 26 December 1805 – 29 November 1823: Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria
  • 29 November 1823 – 7 June 1840: Her Royal Highness Princess Frederick William of Prussia
  • 7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861: Her Majesty The Queen of Prussia
  • 2 January 1861 – 14 December 1873: Her Majesty The Queen Dowager of Prussia


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