Princess Frederica of Hanover

Princess Frederica of Hanover (Friederike Sophie Marie Henriette Amelie Therese; 9 January 1848 – 16 October 1926) was a member of the House of Hanover. After her marriage, she lived mostly in England, where she was a prominent member of society.

Princess Frederica of Hanover
Baroness von Pawel-Rammingen
Princess Frederica of Hanover.jpg
Princess Frederica, c. 1885
Born9 January 1848
Died16 October 1926(1926-10-16) (aged 78)
Biarritz, France
Burial18 November 1926
IssueBaroness Victoria
German: Friederike Sophie Marie Henriette Amelie Therese
English: Frederica Sophie Marie Henrietta Amelia Theresa
FatherGeorge V of Hanover
MotherMarie of Saxe-Altenburg

Early lifeEdit

Frederica was born 9 January 1848 in Hanover, the elder daughter of the Hereditary Prince of Hanover (later King George V of Hanover) and of his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. She held the title of Princess with the style Her Royal Highness in Hanover. In the United Kingdom, she held the title of Princess with the style Her Highness as a male-line great-granddaughter of King George III. She was known as "Lily" within her family.

In January 1866, the Prime Minister of Prussia Otto von Bismarck began negotiations with Hanover, represented by Count Platen-Hallermund, regarding the possible marriage of Frederica to Prince Albrecht of Prussia.[1] These plans came to nothing as tensions grew between Hanover and Prussia finally resulting in the Austro-Prussian War (14 June – 23 August 1866).

In 1866, Frederica's father was deposed as King of Hanover. Eventually, the family settled at Gmunden in Austria, where they owned Schloss Cumberland (named for the British Ducal title held by Frederica's father). Frederica visited England with her family in May 1876,[2] and again, after her father's death, in June 1878.[3]


Frederica was courted by her second cousin, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (with whom she later became lifelong friends and confidantes),[4] and by Alexander, Prince of Orange. Frederica, however, was in love with Baron Alfons von Pawel-Rammingen (1843–1932), the son of a government official of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Alfons had served as an equerry to Frederica's father.[5] Alfons was naturalised as a British subject on 19 March 1880 and, on 24 April 1880, he and Frederica were married.[6] The wedding took place in at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle,[7] performed by the Bishop of Oxford.[8] Alfons' sister Anna was married to Baron Oswald von Coburg [de], the son of an illegitimate son of Prince Ludwig Karl Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (third son of Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld).

Alfred Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, wrote a quatrain in honour of Frederica's marriage, focusing on her relationship to her blind father, who had died two years before:[9]

O you that were eyes and light to the King till he passed away
From the darkness of life —
He saw not his daughter — he blest her: the blind King sees you to-day,
He blesses the wife.

After their marriage Frederica and Alfons lived in an apartment at Hampton Court Palace.[10] The apartment was in the south-west wing of the west front of the palace in the suite formerly called the "Lady Housekeeper's Lodgings". Frederica and Alfons had one daughter who was born and died at Hampton Court Palace:

Frederica and Alfons were frequent guests at Windsor Castle and at Osborne House.

Charitable worksEdit

Frederica was involved with numerous charitable activities.

In August 1881 she established the Convalescent Home, an institution for poor women who have given birth but have been discharged from maternity hospitals.[14][15] Because her father had been blind, she was a benefactress of the Royal Normal College and Academy of Music for the Blind at Upper Norwood.[16]

Frederica was interested in children and became patron of the Church Extension Association, then based in Kilburn, which wished to set up schools in Willesden, then a new suburb of London. On 24 July 1889 she opened Princess Frederica School in Kensal Rise.[17]

She was also patron of the Training College for Teachers of the Deaf at Ealing,[18] of the Strolling Players' Amateur Orchestral Society,[19] of the Hampton Court and Dittons Regatta[20] of the Home for Foreign Governesses,[21] of the Mission to the French in London,[22] and of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.[23] She was President of the Middlesex Branch of SSFA (Soldiers' and Sailors' Families Association).

Later life and deathEdit

Frederica and Alfons gave up their apartment at Hampton Court Palace in 1898.[24] While they continued to live part of the year in England, they subsequently spent more time in Biarritz in France where they had previously vacationed. They owned Villa Mouriscot there.[25]

Frederica died in 1926 at Biarritz. She was buried in the Royal Vault in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.[26] Her will was sealed in London in 1927. Her estate was valued at £85 (or £3,700 in 2022 when adjusted for inflation).[27] In 1927 a window in her memory was unveiled in the English Church in Biarritz.[28]



  1. ^ Otto von Bismarck, Bismarck, the Man and the Statesman (New York: Harper, 1898), II, 26.
  2. ^ "Court Circular", The Times ( 22 May 1876): 11.
  3. ^ "Court Circular", The Times ( 24 June 1878): 9.
  4. ^ Zeepvat, Charlotte (1998). Prince Leopold: The Untold Story of Queen Victoria's Youngest Son. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3791-2.
  5. ^ Sarah Tytler, Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen (Toronto: G. Virtue, 1885), II, 224.
  6. ^ Melville Ruvigny, The Nobilities of Europe (London: Melville, 1909), 229.
  7. ^ "Marriage". St George's Windsor. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  8. ^ "The Royal Marriage", The Times ( 24 April 1880): 11.
  9. ^ Included in Alfred Tennyson, Ballads and Other Poems (London: C.K. Paul, 1880), 182.
  10. ^ Ernest Law, The History of Hampton Court Palace (London: G. Bell, 1903), III, 382-384 and 445-446.
  11. ^ "News in Brief", The Times ( 29 March 1881): 10.
  12. ^ "Court Circular", The Times ( 1 April 1881): 10.
  13. ^ "Royal Funeral at Windsor", The Times ( 1 April 1881): 10.
  14. ^ "Hampton Court Palace", The Times ( 8 August 1881): 8.
  15. ^ Law, III, 383-384.
  16. ^ "Royal Normal College for the Blind", The Times ( 20 December 1881): 11.
  17. ^ "125 years". Princess Frederica School Brent. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26.
  18. ^ The Times ( 2 June 1884): 12.
  19. ^ The Times ( 15 October 1887): 1.
  20. ^ G. Dear One Hundred Years of Skiff Racing British Rowing Almanac 2001
  21. ^ The Times ( 31 January 1888): 14.
  22. ^ The Times ( 11 February 1891): 9.
  23. ^ The Times ( 24 June 1895): 8.
  24. ^ Royal Palaces of England, edited by R.S. Rait (London: Constable, 1911), 203.
  25. ^ "Baron Rammingen", The Times ( 22 November 1932): 14.
  26. ^ "Court Circular", The Times ( 19 November 1926): 17.
  27. ^ Evans, Rob; Pegg, David (18 July 2022). "£187m of Windsor family wealth hidden in secret royal wills". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  28. ^ "Court News", The Times ( 28 July 1927): 15.