Princess Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg

Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg (13 September 1617 – 28 August 1676), was a Duchess consort of Courland by marriage to Duke Jacob Kettler of Courland.

Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg
Luize sharlote.jpg
Duchess consort of Courland
Tenure9 October 1645 – 29 August 1676
Born(1617-09-13)13 September 1617
Berlin, Brandenburg-Prussia
Died28 August 1676(1676-08-28) (aged 58)
Mitau, Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
SpouseDuke Jacob Kettler of Courland
IssueLadislaus Louis Frederick Kettler
Frederick Casimir Kettler
Charles Jacob Kettler
Ferdinand Kettler
Alexander Kettler
Louise Elisabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
Christina Sophia Kettler
Charlotte Sophia Kettler, Abbess of Herford
Maria Amalia, Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel
HouseHouse of Hohenzollern
FatherGeorge William, Elector of Brandenburg
MotherElizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate

She was born to George William, Elector of Brandenburg and Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate.


Raised as a Calvinist, she practiced this faith all her life. In 1638 her family moved to Königsberg where she made contact with local group of poets led by Simon Dach. After Louise Charlotte reached maturity she received first marriage proposals. In total she was proposed to eight times. Among others were King of Poland Władysław IV. However, Louise Charlotte and her parents decided in favour of prince of Courland Jacob Kettler.


They married on 9 October 1645. A poem was composed for the wedding by Simon Dach.[1] After the wedding the new couple moved to Goldingen and later to Mitau.

Louise Charlotte is attributed to have had a large influence over the policy of state during the reign of her consort. She worked with her brother in the interest of Brandenburg, but is also credited to have contributed to the greatness of Courland during her tenure.

She received several manors as a dowry, and administered them very wise and practically. She actively established gardens there and developed dairying. Also she was known as fair and kind landlord to her peasants.

When in 1657 Swedes invaded in Courland Louise Charlotte managed to receive a promise from Swedish general Jakob De la Gardie to spare her manors and peasants.

In 1658 she, together with Duke Jacob and all the family were kept as prisoners by the Swedes in Riga and later in Ivangorod. They were eventually released and were able to return to their duchy only in 1660, but all their properties and land was heavily devastated.

The negotiations between Brandenburg, Russia, Sweden and Poland took place in Mitau during her de facto reign.


Name Birth Death Notes
Louise Elisabeth Kettler 12 August 1646 16 December 1690 married Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg; had issue; died aged 44
Ladislaus Louis Frederick Kettler 14 December 1647 31 March 1648 died aged 3 months
Christina Sophia Kettler 15 May 1649 9 June 1651 died aged 2
Frederick II Casimir Kettler 6 July 1650 22 January 1698 married (1) Countess Sophie Amalie of Nassau-Siegen; had issue (2) Margravine Elisabeth Sophie of Brandenburg; had issue; died aged 48
Charlotte Sophia Kettler 17 September 1651 1 December 1728 never married; became the Abbess in Herford; died aged 76
Maria Amalia Anna Kettler 12 June 1653 16 June 1711 married Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel; had issue; died aged 58
Charles Jacob Kettler 20 October 1654 29 December 1677 never married; died aged 23
Ferdinand Kettler 2 November 1655 4 May 1737 married Princess Johanna Magdalene of Saxe-Weissenfels; no issue; died aged 81
Alexander Kettler 16 October 1658 28 June 1686 never married; died aged 27


  1. ^ Albrecht Schöne: Kürbishütte und Königsberg, S. 46.
Princess Louise Charlotte of Brandenburg
Born: 13 September 1617 Died: 29 August 1676
Preceded by Duchess consort of Courland
Succeeded by