Monday, July 18, 2011

Princess Hilda of Nassau

Father Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Mother Princess Adelheid-Marie of Anhalt-Dessau
Born 5 November 1864 Biebrich
Died 8 February 1952 (aged 87) Badenweiler

Hilda married Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden on 20 September 1885 in Schloss Hohenburg. The marriage did not produce surviving children. The couple became Grand Duke and Grand Duchess in 1907. Hilda was described as intelligent and interested in art, and was often present at art-exhibitions and museums. Several schools and streets, such as the schools Hilda-Gymnasium in Pforzheim, Hilda-Gymnasium in Koblenz, and the streets north and south Hilda Promenade in Karlsruhe are named after her.

Frederick and Hilda were deposed as Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden, in 1918 when all German monarchies were overthrown. At the time of the revolution, her sister-in-law, Victoria of Baden, Queen Victoria of Sweden, was visiting the family. After the abdication of the German emperor, riots spread in Karlsruhe in 11 November. The son of a courtier led a group of soldiers up to the front of the palace, followed by a great crowd of people, where a few shots were fired. Hilda, as well as the rest of the family, left the palace the backway and left for the Zwingenberg palace in the Neckar walley. By permission of the new government, they were allowed to stay at the Langenstein Palace, which belonged to a Swedish count, Douglas. During these events, Louise was to have kept her calm and never uttered a word of complaint. The government gave the order that the former Grand Ducal family was to be protected, and that Langenstein be excepted from housing the returning soldiers, because the Queen of Sweden, was in their company and Baden should not to anything to offend Sweden. In 1919, the family requested permission from the government to reside in Mainau, and was met with the answer that they were now private citizens and could do as they wished.

Hilda is described as a jolly and cheerful character with the ability to ease things up with her good sense of humor, an ability she used during the revolution and the years after, taking care of her husband, who had a weak health.

As Frederick and Hilda were without own direct heirs, they bequeathed their castle of Mainau to Fredrick's only sister's grandson, Count Lennart Bernadotte, who was Hilda's youngest aunt's great-grandson.

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