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Prince Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale

Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale (German: Ernst August; 21 September 1845 – 14 November 1923), was the eldest child and only son of George V of Hanover and his wife, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. Ernst August was deprived of the thrones of Hanover upon its annexation by Prussia in 1866 and later the Duchy of Brunswick in 1884. Although he was the senior male-line great-grandson of George III, the Duke of Cumberland was deprived of his British peerages and honours for having sided with Germany in World War I. Ernst August was the last Hanoverian prince to hold a British royal title and the Order of the Garter. His descendants are in the line of succession to the British throne.

Ernest Augustus
Crown Prince of Hanover
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
PredecessorGeorge V
SuccessorTitles revoked
Head of the House of Hanover
Pretence12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
PredecessorGeorge V
SuccessorErnest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Born(1845-09-21)21 September 1845
Hanover, Kingdom of Hanover
Died14 November 1923(1923-11-14) (aged 78)
Gmunden, First Austrian Republic
Full name
German: Ernst August Wilhelm Adolf Georg Friedrich
English: Ernest Augustus William Adolphus George Frederick
FatherGeorge V of Hanover
MotherMarie of Saxe-Altenburg

Early lifeEdit

King George V and Queen Marie of Hanover and their children Ernest Augustus, Frederica and Marie.
The young crown prince with his father in the 1860s in "Linden-Hannover"

Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was born at Hanover during the reign of his paternal grandfather, Ernest Augustus, King of Hanover. He became the crown prince of Hanover upon his father's accession as George V in November 1851. William I of Prussia and his minister-president Otto von Bismarck deposed George V and annexed Hanover after George sided with the defeated Austria in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War. During that war, the Crown Prince saw action at the Battle of Langensalza.


After the war, the exiled Hanoverian royal family took up residence in Hietzing, near Vienna, but spent a good deal of time in Paris. George V never abandoned his claim to the Hanoverian throne and maintained the Guelphic Legion at his own expense. The former Crown Prince traveled during this early period of exile, and ultimately accepted a commission in the Imperial and Royal Army of Austria-Hungary.


When King George V died in Paris on 12 June 1878, Prince Ernst August succeeded him as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale in the Peerage of Great Britain and Earl of Armagh in the Peerage of Ireland. Queen Victoria created him a Knight of the Garter on 1 August 1878. Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria appointed him to succeed his father as colonel and proprietor of the Austrian 42nd Regiment of Infantry. The regiment's name was changed to honor him, and he served as its honorary colonel from 1879 to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1918.


While visiting his second cousin Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) at Sandringham in 1875, he met Princess Thyra of Denmark (29 September 1853 – 26 February 1933), the youngest daughter of King Christian IX and a sister of the Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra).

On 21/22 December 1878, he and Princess Thyra married at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen.

Duchy of BrunswickEdit

Queen Victoria appointed the Duke of Cumberland a colonel in the British Army in 1876[1] and promoted him to major general in 1886, lieutenant general in 1892 and general in 1898. Although he was a British peer and a prince of Great Britain and Ireland, he continued to consider himself an exiled monarch of a German realm and refused to disclaim his succession rights to Hanover, making his home in Gmunden, Upper Austria.

The Duke of Cumberland was also first in the line of succession to the Duchy of Brunswick after his distant cousin, Duke William. In 1879, when it became apparent that the senior line of the House of Welf would die with William, the Brunswick parliament created a council of regency to take over administration of the duchy upon William's death. This council would appoint a regent if the Duke of Cumberland could not ascend the throne. When William died in 1884, the Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick. However, since he still claimed to be the legitimate King of Hanover as well, the German Reichsrat declared that he would disturb the peace of the empire if he ascended the ducal throne. Under Prussian pressure, the council of regency ignored his claim and appointed Prince Albert of Prussia as regent.

Negotiations between Ernest Augustus and the German government continued for almost three decades, to no avail. During this time, Regent Albert died and Duke John Albert of Mecklenburg was appointed as regent.


The Duke of Cumberland was partially reconciled with the Hohenzollern dynasty in 1913, when his surviving son, Prince Ernst August, married the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the grandson of the Prussian king who had deposed his father. On 24 October 1913, he renounced his succession rights to the Brunswick duchy (which had belonged to the Guelph dynasty since 1235) in favour of his son. The younger Ernst August thus became the reigning Duke of Brunswick on 1 November 1913 and married the Kaiser's daughter. As a mark of regard for his daughter's father-in-law, Kaiser Wilhelm II created the elder Ernst August a Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle.

In 1918, the younger Duke Ernst August abdicated his throne along with the other German princes when all the German dynasties were disestablished by the successor German provisional Government which was established when the Emperor himself abdicated and fled Germany in exile to the Netherlands.


Schloss Cumberland in Gmunden, Austria, built in 1882 as exile seat for Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale

The outbreak of World War I created a breach between the British Royal Family and its Hanoverian cousins. On 13 May 1915, King George V of the United Kingdom ordered the removal of the Duke of Cumberland from the Roll of the Order of the Garter. According to the letters patent on 30 November 1917, he lost the status of a British prince and the style of Highness. Under the terms of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917, on 28 March 1919 his name was removed from the roll of Peers of Great Britain and of Ireland by Order of the King in Council for "bearing arms against Great Britain."

Later lifeEdit

Prince Ernst August, the former Crown Prince of Hanover and former Duke of Cumberland, died of a stroke on his estate at Gmunden in November 1923. He is interred, next to his wife and his mother, in a mausoleum which he had built adjacent to Cumberland Castle.

Honours and armsEdit

Orders and MedalsEdit

Military AppointmentsEdit

In Germany:

  •   Kingdom of Hanover 1863 (ca.): Leutnant, Royal Hanoverian Garde-Husaren-Regiment
  •   Kingdom of Bavaria December 9, 1912 (ca.): Generalmajor à la Suite, Royal Bavarian Schweren Reiter-Regiment " Prinz Karl von Bayern" Nr. 1[15]

In Austria:

  •   1879: Oberstinhaber (Colonel and Proprietor), K.u.K. Infanterieregiment "Ernst August, Herzog von Cumberland und Herzog zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg" Nr. 42
  •   1914 (ca.): Generalmajor, K.u.K. Armee[16]
  •   1914-1918 (ca.): General der Kavalrie, K.u.K. Armee[17]

In the United Kingdom:

  •   May 27, 1876: Colonel, British Army[18]
  •   March 19, 1886: Major General, British Army[19]
  •   April 1, 1892: Lieutenant General, British Army[20]
  •   December 14, 1898: General, British Army[21]


Until his father's death in 1878, Ernest Augustus' arms in right of the United Kingdom were those of his father (being the arms of the Kingdom of Hanover differenced by a label gules bearing a horse courant argent). Upon his father's death, he inherited his arms.[22]


Ernest Augustus with family, photographed by Karl Jagerspacher, 1887

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland had six children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Princess Marie Louise of Hanover 11 October 1879 31 January 1948 married Prince Maximilian of Baden (10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929); had issue
Prince George William of Hanover 28 October 1880 20 May 1912
Princess Alexandra of Hanover 29 September 1882 30 August 1963 married Friedrich Franz IV, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (9 April 1882 – 17 November 1945); had issue
Princess Olga of Hanover 11 July 1884 21 September 1958
Prince Christian of Hanover 4 July 1885 3 September 1901
Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick 17 November 1887 30 January 1953 married Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia (13 September 1892 – 11 December 1980); had issue



  1. ^ "No. 24330". The London Gazette. 26 May 1876. p. 3186.
  2. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Hannover (1865), "Königliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 38
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ruvigny, Melville Henry Massue, 9th Marquis of. Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage, London: Harrison & Sons, 1914. pp. 52-53
  4. ^ Braunschweigisches Adreßbuch für das Jahr 1896. Braunschweig 1896. Meyer. p. 3
  5. ^ Shaw, Wm. A. (1906) The Knights of England, I, London, p. 65
  6. ^ Staat Oldenburg (1873). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg: für ... 1872/73. Schulze. p. 31.
  7. ^ Staatshandbuch für den Freistaat Sachsen: 1870. Heinrich. 1870. p. 4.
  8. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden (1902), "Großherzogliche Orden" p. 67
  9. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Bayern (1906), "Königliche Orden" p. 9
  10. ^ Kongelig Dansk Hof-og Statskalendar (1923) (in Danish), "De Kongelig Danske Ridderordener", pp. 35-36
  11. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1884), "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p. 31
  12. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 44
  13. ^ Staats- und Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Nassau (1866), "Herzogliche Orden" p. 9
  14. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Helmut Weitze Military Antiques Auction House. “Bavarian Uniform Ensemble of Duke Ernst August (II) of Brunshwick and Lunenburg as General Major à la Suite in the Royal Bavarian 1st Schweren Reiter Regiment “Prinz Karl von Bayern” (Auction Number 272415)." Retrieved from: Notes: The rank "generalmajor," which translates to "major general," was the equivalent in rank to brigadier in the British Army and brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
  16. ^ Dorotheum Auctions. (2015.May 7). “Ernst August, Crown Prince of Hannover, Duke of Cumberland (Lot No. 218).” Retrieved from: Notes: The rank of “generalmajor” translates to “major general” but was equal in rank to a brigadier in the British Army and brigadier general in the U.S. Army.
  17. ^ Willhaben Auction House. (2018, July 8). “Field gray K.u.K. field blouse as General (der Kavalrie) of Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland.” Retrieved from: Notes: The rank "general der kavalrie" directly translates as "general of cavalry" and was the equivalent in rank to a lieutenant general in the British or U.S. Armies. The 3rd Duke of Cumberland was photographed wearing the auctioned K.u.K. lancer pattern field blouse in a ca.1917-1918 family photo.
  18. ^ "No. 24330". The London Gazette. 26 May 1876. p. 3186.
  19. ^ The Quarterly Army List for the Quarter Ending 31st March, 1915. London: J.J. Keliher & Co., Ltd. Pp.9-10.
  20. ^ Army List, March 1915. p. 10
  21. ^ Army List, March 1915. p. 10
  22. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family

External linksEdit

Prince Ernest Augustus, 3rd Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 21 September 1845 Died: 14 November 1923
Peerage of Great Britain
Preceded by
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
12 June 1878 – 28 March 1919
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Earl of Armagh
12 June 1878 – 28 March 1919
Titles in pretence
Loss of title
Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale
28 March 1919 – 14 November 1923
Succeeded by
Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick
Preceded by
George V
King of Hanover
12 June 1878 – 14 November 1923
Reason for succession failure:
Hanover annexed by Prussia in 1866
Preceded by
Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
18 October 1884 - 1 November 1913
Reason for succession failure:
Refused to give up claim to Hanover