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Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (1914–1987)

Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (1914–1987)

Hanoverian prince
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Hanoverian prince
A.K.A. Ernst August IV
Countries United Kingdom Germany
Occupations Jurist
Gender male
Birth 18 March 1914 (Braunschweig)
Death 9 December 1987 (Pattensen)
Mother: Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia
Father: Ernest AugustusDuke of Brunswick
Siblings: Prince Christian Oscar of HanoverPrince Welf Henry of HanoverPrince George William of Hanover
Spouse: Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-GlücksburgMonikaPrincess of Hanover
Children: Countess Marie of HochbergPrince Ernst August of HanoverPrince Ludwig Rudolph of HanoverPrincess Olga of HanoverAlexandraPrincess of LeiningenPrince Heinrich Julius of Hanover
The details

Ernst August, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, Prince of Hanover (German: Ernst August Prinz von Hannover; 18 March 1914 – 9 December 1987) was head of the House of Hanover from 1953 until his death. He was born at Braunschweig, Brunswick, Germany, the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the youngest child and only daughter of Wilhelm II, Ernest Augustus's third cousin in descent from George III of the United Kingdom. Ernst August's parents were, therefore, third cousins, once removed. From his birth, he was the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick (German: Ernst August, Erbprinz von Braunschweig). He was also, shortly after birth in 1914, awarded the title of Prince of Great Britain and Ireland by King George V of the United Kingdom, and was heir to the title of Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Earl of Armagh which was suspended under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.


The christening of Ernst August in the summer of 1914 was the last great gathering of European monarchs before the start of World War I. He had an illustrious list of godparents, including the German Emperor and Empress, his maternal grandparents; the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, his paternal grandparents; George V of the United Kingdom, Franz Joseph of Austria, Nicholas II of Russia, Ludwig III of Bavaria, Frederick Francis IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, Prince Oskar of Prussia, Prince Maximilian of Baden and The 1st Royal Bavarian Heavy Cavalry Regiment.

He lost his titles when his father abdicated in 1918 when he was 4 years old. After his father's death in 1953, he became head of the House of Hanover. He was usually styled His Royal Highness The Prince of Hanover and sometimes as Ernest Augustus IV.

During World War II, he fought at the Russian Front as Oberleutnant in the staff of Generaloberst Erich Hoepner. He was seriously injured near Charkov in spring 1943. After the 20 July plot in 1944, he was imprisoned for a few weeks by the Gestapo in Berlin.

In addition to being a German, he also held British nationality, after successfully claiming it under the Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 in the case of Attorney-General v. Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover. He was also heir to the British title of Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, suspended under the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.

Marriage and children

On 5 September 1951, Ernest Augustus married Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1925–1980). The wedding was attended by many important royal figures, including his sister Queen Frederica and her husband King Paul I of Greece, and the heads of the houses of Saxony, Hesse, Mecklenburg, Oldenburg, and Baden. The wedding was followed with a reception at Herrenhausen, the only part of Hanover's former palace still intact (the rest had been burned down during World War II).

His children by his first wife are:

  • Princess Marie of Hanover (born 1952), married Count Michael von Hochberg and had issue.
  • Prince Ernst August of Hanover (born 1954), married first Chantal Hochuli and had issue, married second Princess Caroline of Monaco and had issue.
  • Prince Ludwig Rudolph of Hanover (1955–1988), married Countess Isabelle von Thurn and Valsassina-Como-Vercelli (1962–1988), with whom he had one son. Ludwig committed suicide shortly after discovering the body of his wife, who had died of a drug overdose.
  • Princess Olga Sophie Charlotte Anna of Hanover (born 1958)
  • Princess Alexandra of Hanover (born 1959), married Andreas, 8th Prince of Leiningen and had issue.
  • Prince Heinrich of Hanover (born 1961), married Thyra von Westernhagen and had issue (including a son, Albert).

Princess Ortrud died in 1980. Ernest Augustus married again in 1981, Countess Monika of Solms-Laubach (1929–2015). He died at Schulenburg, Pattensen, Lower Saxony, Germany, aged 73.

Titles and styles

Duchy of Brunswick

  • 18 March 1914 - 8 November 1918: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
  • in pretense 8 November 1918 - 30 January 1953: His Royal Highness The Hereditary Prince of Brunswick
  • in pretense 30 January 1953 - 9 December 1987: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brunswick

Kingdom of Hanover

  • 18 March 1914 - 30 January 1953: His Royal Highness Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover
  • 30 January 1953 - 9 December 1987: His Royal Highness The Prince of Hanover
    • in pretense: His Majesty The King of Hanover

United Kingdom

  • 18 March 1914 - 28 March 1919: His Highness Prince Ernest Augustus of Cumberland


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