Portrait of Frederick V (1596-1632), Elector Palatine (1610-1623), King of Bohemia (1619-1620)
Frederick V (German: Friedrich V.; 26 August 1596 – 29 November 1632) was the Elector Palatine of the Rhine in the Holy Roman Empire from 1610 to 1623, and served as King of Bohemia from 1619 to 1620. He was forced to abdicate both roles, and the brevity of his reign in Bohemia earned him the derisive nickname of "the Winter King" (Czech: Zimní král; German: Winterkönig). Frederick was born at the Jagdschloss Deinschwang (a hunting lodge) near Amberg in the Upper Palatinate. He was the son of Frederick IV and of Louise Juliana of Orange-Nassau, the daughter of William the Silent and Charlotte de Bourbon-Montpensier. An intellectual, a mystic, and a Calvinist, he succeeded his father as Prince-Elector of the Rhenish Palatinate in 1610. He was responsible for the construction of the famous Hortus Palatinus gardens in Heidelberg. In 1618 the largely Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand, triggering the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. Frederick was asked to assume the crown of Bohemia. He accepted the offer and was crowned on 4 November 1619, as Frederick I. The estates chose Frederick since he was the leader of the Protestant Union, a military alliance founded by his father, and hoped for the support of Frederick's father-in-law, James VI of Scotland and I of England. However, James opposed the takeover of Bohemia from the Habsburgs and Frederick's allies in the Protestant Union failed to support him militarily by signing the Treaty of Ulm (1620). His brief reign as King of Bohemia ended with his defeat at the Battle of White Mountain on 8 November 1620 – a year and four days after his coronation. After this battle, the Imperial forces invaded Frederick's Palatine lands and he had to flee to his uncle Prince Maurice, Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic in 1622. An Imperial edict formally deprived him of the Palatinate in 1623. He lived the rest of his life in exile with his wife and family, mostly at The Hague, and died in Mainz in 1632. His eldest surviving son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, returned to power in 1648 with the end of the war. His daughter Princess Sophia was eventually named heiress presumptive to the British throne, and is the founder of the Hanoverian line of kings.
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