Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg is dead



November 17, 1905

Grand Duke Adolf of Luxembourg died today at Schloss Hohenberg, the family castle in Bavaria, according to news reports.  He was 88 years old. 

Grand Duke Adolf was born in 1817, and was the ruler of the duchy of Nassau for twenty five years until 1866, when the tiny duchy was absorbed into Prussia.   Adolf was forced to abdicate as he had sided with Austria in the war against Prussia.  Austria was defeated.

For the next twenty-three years, Adolf lived quietly in Austria, as the heir to the Luxembourg throne, which was held by the King of the Netherlands. 
In 1889,  he received word that King Willem had died, and Adolf "immediately took the train for Luxembourg," where he "mounted the throne," and moved into the Grand Ducal Palace.

But Willem was not dead.  Adolf, after "making an impressive state entrance" into Luxembourg, was forced to leave the country by taxi.

A year later, Willem III died.  His only daughter, Wilhelmina, 10, ascended to the Dutch throne, and Adolf was finally able to succeed in Luxembourg (which did not allow for female accession.)

Grand Duke Adolf was married twice.  His first wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Mikhailovna, died in childbirth in 1845.   Six years later,  Adolf remarried Princess Adelheid of Anhalt-Dessau.  She gave birth to give children, but only two lived to adulthood.

Adolf is survived by his widow, Adelheid, and his son, Wilhelm, and his daughter, Hilda, who is married to Duke Friedrich II of Baden.

Wilhelm succeeds as Grand Duke of Luxembourg.  He is married to Princess Marie-Anne of Portugal. They have six daughters:  Marie Adelaide (1894), Charlotte (1896), Hilda (1897), Antonia (1899), Elisabeth (1901), and Sophie (1902).

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