Alexander Karl, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg

Alexander Charles, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg (2 March 1805 – 19 August 1863) was a German prince of the House of Ascania. From 1834 until 1863 he was the last duke of the Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg.

Alexander Charles
Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg
Alexander Karl, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg (1805-1863).jpg
Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg
Reign24 March 1834–19 August 1863
Full name
German: Alexander Karl
Born(1805-03-02)2 March 1805
Ballenstedt, Anhalt, Holy Roman Empire
Died19 August 1863(1863-08-19) (aged 58)
Hoym, Anhalt
Noble familyAscania
Spouse(s)Princess Friederike of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
FatherAlexius Frederick Christian, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg
MotherMarie Friederike of Hesse-Kassel


Early lifeEdit

Alexander Charles' birthplace Ballenstedt Castle in 1837.

Alexander Charles was born at Ballenstedt on 2 March 1805 as the second (but eldest and only surviving) son of Alexius Frederick Christian, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg, by his first wife Maria Fredericka, daughter of William I, Elector of Hesse.


After the death of his father in 1834, Alexander Karl succeeded him in Anhalt-Bernburg.


In Gottorp on 30 October 1834 Alexander Karl married Princess Friederike of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, daughter of Frederick William, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and his wife Princess Louise Caroline of Hesse-Kassel; she was also a sister of the later King Christian IX of Denmark. The union was childless.


By November 1855 the Duke was confined to Schloss Hoym due to a progressive mental illness (some sources state that he suffered from schizophrenia). There, Alexander Karl spend the rest of his life under medical care in the company of his chamberlain, the painter Wilhelm von Kügelgen.

Due to his incapacity, his wife Friederike acted as regent.


Alexander Charles died at Hoym on 19 August 1863. As the marriage produced no issue, with him, the line of Anhalt-Bernburg became extinct. The Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg was inherited by his kinsman Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt-Dessau-Köthen who merged the duchy with his own to form a united Duchy of Anhalt.

Preceded by
Alexius Frederick Christian
Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg
Succeeded by
Leopold IV