Julia, Princess of Battenberg

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Julia, Princess of Battenberg (previously Countess Julia Therese Salomea von Hauke; 24 November [O.S. 12 November] 1825 – 19 September 1895) was the wife of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, the third son of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse. The daughter of a Polish general of German descent, she was not of princely origin. She became a lady-in-waiting to Marie of Hesse, wife of the future Emperor Alexander II and a sister of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine, whom she married, having met him in the course of her duties. The marriage of social unequals was deemed morganatic, but the Duke of Hesse gave her her own title of nobility as Princess of Battenberg. She was the mother of Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria, and is an ancestor of Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, and to the current generations of the Spanish royal family.

Julia Hauke
Princess of Battenberg
Julia Hauke by Vladimir Hau.jpg
Julia Hauke by Woldemar Hau
Born(1825-11-24)24 November 1825
Warsaw, Congress Poland
Died19 September 1895(1895-09-19) (aged 69)
Schloss Heiligenberg, Jugenheim, Hesse
SpousePrince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
IssueMarie, Princess of Erbach-Schönberg
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven
Alexander, Prince of Bulgaria
Prince Henry
Prince Francis Joseph
Julia Therese Salomea von Hauke
FatherCount John Maurice Hauke
MotherSophie Lafontaine
Arms of Battenberg: Argent, two pallets sable, as granted to Countess Julia Hauke, created "Princess of Battenberg", by the Grand Duke of Hesse


Julia Therese Salomea von Hauke was born in Warsaw, Congress Poland, then ruled in personal union by the Emperor of the Russian Empire. She was the daughter of Count Johann Moritz von Hauke, a Polish general of German descent, and his wife Sophie née Lafontaine.[1][2]

Julia in middle age
Schloss Heiligenberg, a property of the Mountbattens until 1920, was sold for a pittance because of inflation in Germany.

Julia's father had fought in Napoleon's Polish Legions in Austria, Italy, Germany, and the Peninsular War. After his service in the Polish army from 1790 and in the army of the Duchy of Warsaw from 1809 to 1814, he entered the ranks of the army of Congress Poland, was promoted to general in 1828, and was awarded a Russian title. Recognising his abilities, Emperor Nicholas I appointed him Deputy Minister of War of Congress Poland and made him an hereditary count in 1829. In the November Uprising of 1830, led by rebelling army cadets, Grand Duke Constantine, Poland's Russian governor, managed to escape, but Julia's father was shot dead by the cadets on a Warsaw street. Her mother died of shock shortly afterwards, and their children were made wards of the Emperor.[citation needed]

Julia served as lady-in-waiting to Empress Marie Alexandrovna, wife of the future Emperor Alexander II and a sister of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. She met Prince Alexander while performing her duties at court in St. Petersburg. The Emperor did not approve of a courtship between his son's brother-in-law and a noblewoman, and so the two arranged to leave the St. Petersburg court. By the time Julia and Alexander were able to marry, she was six months pregnant with their first child, Marie. They were married on 28 October 1851 in Breslau in Prussian Silesia (now called Wrocław and in Poland).[citation needed]

Since Julia did not belong to a reigning or mediatised family, which were the only ones considered equal for royal marriage purposes, she was considered to be of insufficient rank for any of her children to qualify for succession to the throne of Hesse and by Rhine (Hesse-Darmstadt); the marriage was considered morganatic. Her husband's brother, Grand Duke Louis III of Hesse-Darmstadt, created her Countess of Battenberg in 1851, with the style of Illustrious Highness (Erlaucht), and in 1858 further elevated her to Princess of Battenberg with the style of "Her Serene Highness", (Durchlaucht). The children of Julia and Alexander were also elevated to princely rank. Thus, Battenberg became the name of a morganatic branch of the Grand Ducal Family of Hesse. Julia converted from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism on 12 May 1875.[citation needed] She died at Heiligenberg Castle, near Jugenheim, Hesse, aged sixty-nine, on 19 September 1895.[citation needed]


Coat of arms of the Hauke-Bosak family

There were five children of the marriage, all princes and princesses of Battenberg:

Name change to "Mountbatten"Edit

Julia's eldest son, Ludwig (Louis) of Battenberg, became a British subject, and during World War I, due to anti-German sentiment prevalent at the time, anglicised his name to Mountbatten (a literal translation of the German Battenberg), as did his nephews, the sons of Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice. The members of this branch of the family also renounced all German titles and were granted peerages by their cousin King George V of the United Kingdom: Prince Louis became the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while Prince Alexander, Prince Henry's eldest son, became the 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke.



See alsoEdit


  • Almanach de Gotha, Gotha 1931
  • Eckhart G. Franz, Das Haus Hessen: Eine europäische Familie, Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 2005 (S. 164–170), ISBN 3-17-018919-0


  1. ^ The Hauke Family from Wetzlar, at wargs.com; accessed 3 December 2018
  2. ^ Paget, Gerald (1977), The Lineage & Ancestry of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Edinburgh and London: Charles Skilton
  3. ^ a b c Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogs Hessen (1879), "Genealogie" p. 4
  4. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogs Hessen (1879), "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p. 146
  5. ^ Paget, Gerald (1977), The Lineage & Ancestry of HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Edinburgh and London: Charles Skilton