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Frederick Augustus III of Saxony

Frederick Augustus III of Saxony King of Saxony

King of Saxony
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Frederick Augustus III (German: Friedrich August III.; 25 May 1865 – 18 February 1932) was the last King of Saxony (1904–1918) and a member of the House of Wettin. Born in Dresden, Frederick Augustus was the eldest son of King George of Saxony and his wife, Maria Anna of Portugal.

Frederick Augustus served in the Royal Saxon Army before becoming king, and later was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall. Though well-loved by his subjects, he voluntarily abdicated as king on 13 November 1918, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I. He died in Sibyllenort (now Szczodre) in Lower Silesia and was buried in Dresden.

Military career

Frederick Augustus entered the Royal Saxon Army in 1877 as a second lieutenant, despite being only twelve years old. Given his royal status, he advanced rapidly through the ranks. He served initially with the Royal Saxon 1. (Leib-) Grenadier Regiment Nr. 100. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1883, captain in 1887, major in 1889 and lieutenant colonel in 1891. By 1891, he was commander of the 1st Battalion of Schützen (Füsilier)-Regiment Nr. 108. He was promoted to colonel on 22 September 1892 and took command of the Schützen (Füsilier)-Regiment Nr. 108 on the same day. On 20 September 1894, the 29-year-old prince was promoted to Generalmajor and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Brigade Nr. 45 (Saxon higher units usually bore two numbers: one their Saxon Army number and the other their number in the Prussian Army order of battle). On 22 May 1898, he was promoted to Generalleutnant and given command of the 1st Royal Saxon Infantry Division Nr. 23. He commanded this division until 26 August 1902, when he took command of the XII (1st Royal Saxon) Corps. He was promoted to General der Infanterie one month later, on 24 September. He remained in command of the corps until October 1904, when he became king. His military career effectively ended with his accession to the throne, but he was promoted subsequently to Generaloberst and then to Generalfeldmarschall (on 9 September 1912).

Following his father's accession, he was in July 1902 appointed à la suite of the German Marine Infantry by Emperor Wilhelm II during a visit to Kiel.

Family

Frederick Augustus married Archduchess Luise, Princess of Tuscany, in Vienna on 21 November 1891. They were divorced in 1903 by the royal decree of the King after she ran away while pregnant with her last child. Luise's flight from Dresden was due to her father-in-law's threatening to have her interned in Sonnestein Mental Asylum for life. Her brother supported her in her wish to escape Saxony. Emperor Franz-Josef of Austria-Hungary did not recognise the divorce.

They had seven children:

Their two eldest sons, Friedrich August and Friedrich Christian were born in the same year, 1893, but were not twins. Friedrich August was born in January, while Friedrich Christian was born in December.

Quotes

  • When standing in uniform on a station platform, a lady asked him to move her trunk. He is reported to have replied, "Madam, I am not a porter; I only look like one."
  • When the German Republic was proclaimed in 1918, he was asked by telephone whether he would abdicate willingly. He said: "Oh, well, I suppose I'd better."
  • Upon abdicating, he is supposed to have said "Nu da machd doch eiern Drägg alleene!" (Saxon for "Well then, do your shit by yourselves!" or more accurately, "Well then take care of this crap yourselves!"), but there is no documentation of this.
  • When cheered by a crowd in a railroad station several years after his abdication, he stuck his head out of the train's window and shouted "Ihr seid mer ja scheene Demogradn!" (Saxon for "You're a fine lot of republicans, I'll say!").

Decorations and awards

  •  Kingdom of Saxony:
    • Order of the Rue Crown, Knight, 1877; Grand Master, 15 October 1904
    • Military Order of St. Henry, Grand Master
    • Albert Order, Grand Master
    • Civil Order of Saxony, Grand Master
    • Saxon Service Order, 1st Class (25 years service)
  •  Baden:
    • House Order of Fidelity, Knight, 1884
    • Order of the Zahringer Lion, Berthold the First Special Class, 1884
  •  Kingdom of Bavaria:
    • Order of St. Hubert, Knight, 1886
    • Military Order of Max Joseph, Grand Cross
  • Ernestine duchies: Saxe-Ernestine House Order, Grand Cross, 1886
  •  Kingdom of Prussia:
    • Order of the Black Eagle, Knight with Collar
    • Pour le Mérite
    • Iron Cross, 1st and 2nd Classes
  •  Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: Order of the White Falcon, Grand Cross, 1886
  •  Württemberg: Order of the Württemberg Crown, Grand Cross, 1894
  •  Austria-Hungary:
    • Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephen, Grand Cross, 1886
    • Order of the Golden Fleece, Knight, 1889
    • Military Order of Maria Theresa, Grand Cross, 1917
  •  Kingdom of Bulgaria: Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Grand Cross with Collar
  •  Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion
  •  Russian Empire:
    • Order of St. Andrew, Knight
    • Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, Knight
  •  Sweden: Royal Order of the Seraphim, Knight, 12 March 1910
  • Siam: Order of the Royal House of Chakri, Knight, 24 August 1897

Ancestry

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,720691,00.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,882120,00.html
https://archive.org/details/almanachdegotha00unse_94/page/108
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_nTedipoxoGcC/page/n37
https://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/rsc/viewer/jportal_derivate_00243753/Sachsen_Coburg_Gotha_166999342_1890_0057.tif?logicalDiv=jportal_jparticle_00484309
https://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/rsc/viewer/jportal_derivate_00185861/Staatshandbuch_Film_Nr_16_0245.tif
https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_Pc5CAAAAYAAJ/page/n63
http://alex.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/alex?aid=shb&datum=1918&size=45
http://runeberg.org/statskal/1915/0671.html
http://www.ratchakitcha.soc.go.th/DATA/PDF/2442/004/54_2.PDF
https://deepl.com
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