Battenberg family

  (Redirected from House of Battenberg)

The Battenberg family was formerly a morganatic branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt, rulers of the Grand Duchy of Hesse in Germany. The first member was Julia Hauke, whose brother-in-law Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse created her in 1851 Countess of Battenberg, with the style Illustrious Highness (H. Ill.H.), at the time of her morganatic marriage to Grand Duke Louis's brother Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. The name Battenberg refers to the town of Battenberg in Hesse. In 1858, Prince Alexander elevated the Countess's title to Princess of Battenberg, with the style of Serene Highness (HSH).

Arms of Battenberg-Mountbatten.svg
Battenberg arms
Arms of Bulgaria 1880-1887.svg
Arms of Alexander of Battenberg, who ruled the Principality of Bulgaria from 1879 to 1886
Parent houseHesse-Darmstadt branch
of the House of Hesse
Place of originGrand Duchy of Hesse
MembersPrincess Julia of Battenberg, Princess Marie of Battenberg, Prince Louis of Battenberg
Connected membersPrincess Alice of Battenberg, Princess Louise of Battenberg, Prince George of Battenberg
Cadet branchesMountbatten family

The name of Battenberg was last used by Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg, youngest son of the Princess of Battenberg, who died childless in 1924. In 1917 most members of the family had been residing in the British Empire and had renounced their Hessian titles, due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British during the First World War. They changed the name to Mountbatten, an anglicised version of Battenberg. However, Juan, Count of Barcelona, a son of Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, Queen of Spain, bore the surname of Borbón y Battenberg until his death in 1993.


Prince Alexander (1823–1888) was the third son of Grand Duke Louis II of Hesse and by Rhine and of Wilhelmina of Baden, yet it was openly rumoured that his biological father was actually Baron Augustus de Senarclens, his mother's chamberlain.[1] His spouse, Julia von Hauke (1825–1895), was a mere Countess, the orphaned daughter of Count von Hauke, a Polish nobleman of German ancestry who had served as a General in the Imperial Russian Army and then as Deputy Minister of War of Congress Poland. Hauke's rank was too low for his daughter's children to qualify for the succession to the throne of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. For this reason, her new brother-in-law Louis III of Hesse created the title of Countess of Battenberg (German: Gräfin von Battenberg) for her and for the couple's descendants. In 1858, the title, which referred to the town of Battenberg, Hesse, was elevated to princely status. There was never a corresponding Principality of Battenberg; the title was a non-sovereign one in the nobility of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. A previous family of counts of Battenberg had become extinct in the 14th century.[2]

After 1858, the children of this union bore the title of Prince (German: Prinz) or Princess (German: Prinzessin) and the style Serene Highness (German: Durchlaucht).[3] Battenberg thus became the name of a morganatic cadet branch of the Grand Ducal family of Hesse, without the right of succession.[4]


Relations to royal familiesEdit

One of the original couple's sons, Prince Alexander of Battenberg, was made Sovereign Prince of Bulgaria; he was later forced to abdicate.

Another son, Prince Henry of Battenberg, married Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria; their daughter, Victoria Eugenia Julia Ena, became queen consort of Spain. Her uncle Edward VII elevated her style to Royal Highness, so that she would have the necessary status to marry into the Spanish royal house.

Alexander and Julia's eldest son, Prince Louis of Battenberg, became the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy. Due to anti-German feelings prevalent in Britain during the First World War, he anglicised his name to Mountbatten, as did his children and nephews, the sons of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice.

One of the couple's four sons and one of their grandsons renounced their Hessian titles and were granted peerages by their cousin, George V: Prince Louis became the first Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, was created Marquess of Carisbrooke.

Prince Louis's second daughter, Princess Louise of Battenberg, in 1923 married the future Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and in 1950 became Queen Consort of Sweden. His younger son, Louis, became the last Viceroy of India. His elder daughter, Princess Alice of Battenberg, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark; their son, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (later styled as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), married the heir presumptive of the British throne, later Elizabeth II, after having renounced his Greek titles and taken his maternal grandfather's and uncle's surname, Mountbatten. The name Battenberg, in its anglicised form, is now a part of the personal surname, Mountbatten-Windsor, of some members of the British Royal Family.

In 1897, Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg married Princess Anna of Montenegro,[5] a sister of Queen Elena of Italy and a maternal aunt of Alexander I of Yugoslavia.

Coats of armsEdit

Besides those depicted above;

Family treeEdit

Genealogical Table of the Battenberg, Mountbatten and Mountbatten-Windsor Family

House of Hesse-DarmstadtHouse of Windsor(UK)House of Romanov(Russia)Greek Royal FamilySwedish Royal FamilySpanish Royal Family
  Louis II
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1830

  Queen Victoria

Albert, Prince Consort

Prince Charles of Hesse and by the Rhine
  Louis III
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1848
Prince Alexander of Hesse and by the Rhine
Julia v. Hauke  [a]
Countess, later Princess of Battenberg

Empress Maria Alexandrovna
  Emperor Alexander II of Russia
  Edward VII

Princess Alice
  Louis IV
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1877
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom

Prince Henry of Battenberg

  Prince Alexander of Battenberg
Prince of Bulgaria
Prince Francis Joseph of Battenberg
  Emperor Alexander III of Russia
  King George I of Greece,1863
  George V

  Ernest Louis
Grand Duke of Hesse and by the Rhine,1892 – abd 1918
Empress Alexandra of Russia
  Emperor Nicholas II of Russia
Prince Louis of Battenberg[b]

from 1917 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
from 1917 Alexander Mountbatten, Marquess of Carisbrooke
from 1917 Lord Leopold Mountbatten
Prince Maurice of Battenberg
Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg


Queen of Spain,1906 –1931
  King Alfonso XIII of Spain
dep 1931
  King Constantine I of Greece,1913-17 & 1920-22
  George VI

Georg Donatus, Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse
Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Alice of Battenberg
Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark
  Louise Mountbatten
Queen of Sweden
  King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
King, 1950
2nd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Louis Mountbatten[c]
1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona
  King Paul of Greece,1947
(1901– 1964)
  Elizabeth II

Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten
David Mountbatten
3rd Marquess of Milford Haven
Lady Pamela Hicks
Patricia Knatchbull
2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma
m. John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne
  King Juan Carlos I of Spain
King of Spain,1975-2014
  Queen Sophia
  King Constantine II of Greece,1964–73 & 1920-22
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales

Anne, Princess Royal

Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

  King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
King, 1973
George Mountbatten
4th Marquess of Milford Haven
Lord Ivar Mountbatten
Norton Knatchbull
3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma
6 others  Felipe VI
King of Spain,2014
Crown Prince Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece


  1. ^ This coat of arms is reported in the "Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe", by Jiri Louda and Michael Maclagan, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. Publishers, New York, 1981, p216, table 109. While these arms are virtually the same as the city of Mainz, it is a common heraldic law that identical arms are allowed when the bearers are of different nations, but within a nation they are not (see for England, Warbelton v Gorges and Scrope v Grosvenor). However, Wikipedia reports a different set of arms for the family at the article on Hauke-Bosak ( . However, these arms are for the family in Russia, and the reference given is an expired page in the Polish Wikipedia. There is no reference for the family seen in the Rietstap Armorial General.
  2. ^ Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    First Sea Lord, RN (1912–14)
  3. ^ Admiral of the Fleet, RN
    Chief of Combined Operations, Chiefs of Staff Committee (UK) and Combined Chiefs of Staff (US & UK) (1941–1943)
    Supreme Allied Commander,  South East Asia Command(1943–1946)
    Viceroy and Governor-General of India(1947)
    Governor-General of India(1947-48)
    Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, RN (1952–1954)
    Fourth Sea Lord, RN (1950–1952)
    First Sea Lord, RN (1955-59)
    Chief of the Defence Staff (United Kingdom) (1959–1965)
  4. ^ Prince Philip was born a member of the Danish and Greek Royal House of Glucksborg and was known as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
    On his marriage he became a naturalized British subject, disclaimed his Greek and Danish titles, and adopted his mother's maiden name of Mountbatten as his surname. As documented in the Mountbatten family and Mountbatten-Windsor articles, the dynastic name of the British Royal Family remains Windsor. However, the personal surname of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's descendants is Mountbatten-Windsor (e.g. Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor).
    Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh on his marriage. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth created him a British Prince.


  1. ^ Hugo Vickers, Alice: Princess Andrew of Greece (2000), p. 8
  2. ^ Norman Davies, Europe: A History (1997), p. 809
  3. ^ Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, Burke's Royal Families of the World, Vol. 1 (1977), p. 213
  4. ^ Hugo Young, Political Lives (2001), p. 531
  5. ^ The Annual Register (1898), p. 27

External linksEdit

Battenberg family
House of Battenberg
Cadet branch of the House of Hesse-Darmstadt
Preceded by
House of Shishman
Ruling House of Bulgaria
Succeeded by
House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha