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Éléonore Marie Desmier d'Olbreuse (3 January 1639 – 5 February 1722) was the wife of George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. She was Countess of Wilhelmsburg from 1674 and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1676. She was the mother of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, who was the wife of George I. Thus she is the maternal grandmother of George II.

Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Duchess consort of Saxe-Lauenburg
Eleonore, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.jpg
Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Born(1639-01-03)3 January 1639
Château d'Olbreuse, Deux-Sèvres
Died5 February 1722(1722-02-05) (aged 83)
Celle Castle, Celle
SpouseGeorge William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
IssueSophia Dorothea, Electoral Princess of Hanover
FatherAlexandre Desmier, Seigneur of Olbreuse
MotherJacquette Poussard du Bas-Vandré et de Saint-Marc



Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse was born at the Castle of Olbreuse in Deux-Sèvres near Niort, France into a Huguenot family of lower nobility. Her parents were Alexandre Desmier d'Olbreuse and Jacquette Poussard du Bas-Vandré et de Saint-Marc. She went to the royal court in Paris as a lady-in-waiting in the service of Marie de la Tour d'Auvergne, Duchess of Thouars, whose son had married Emily of Hesse-Kassel, daughter of William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, in 1648.

In the winter of 1664 Éléonore accompanied the Duchess of Thouars who visited her son in Kassel. There the beautiful Éléonore met the unmarried George William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who immediately fell in love with her.

Éléonore became his mistress and received the title Lady of Harburg. In 1666 their only child, Sophie Dorothea, was born. In 1674 the child was legitimised and Éléonore became the Duchess of Wilhelmsburg. Two years later the couple could finally marry. It was a happy marriage.

Their daughter was married in 1682 to George Louis, the son of her father's brother, Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover, for dynastical reasons. The marriage was a disaster. Finally Sophia Dorothea was imprisoned by her husband in the Castle of Ahlden for the rest of her life. During the last years of her life, Éléonore cared for her daughter and tried to obtain her release, without success.

Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse died on 5 February 1722, nearly blind, in Celle Castle, Celle. She mentioned 342 persons in her will. She was buried in the Stadtkirche St. Marien (town church of St. Mary) in Celle.



External linksEdit

  Media related to Éléonore d'Olbreuse at Wikimedia Commons