Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1776-1810), Crown Princess of Prussia (1793-1797), Queen consort of Prussia (1797-1810), 1800
Duchess Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (German: Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz; 10 March 1776 – 19 July 1810) was Queen of Prussia as the wife of King Frederick William III. The couple's happy, though short-lived, marriage produced nine children, including the future monarchs Frederick William IV of Prussia and German Emperor Wilhelm I. Her legacy became cemented after her extraordinary 1807 meeting with French Emperor Napoleon I at Tilsit – she met with the emperor to plead unsuccessfully for favorable terms after Prussia's disastrous losses in the Napoleonic Wars. She was already well loved by her subjects, but her meeting with Napoleon led Louise to become revered as "the soul of national virtue". Her early death at the age of thirty-four "preserved her youth in the memory of posterity", and caused Napoleon to reportedly remark the king "has lost his best minister". The Order of Louise was founded by her grieving husband four years later as a female counterpart to the Iron Cross. Duchess Luise Auguste Wilhelmine Amalie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz ("Louise" in English) was born on 10 March 1776, just outside the capital in Hanover. She was the fourth daughter and sixth child of Duke Charles of Mecklenburg and his wife Princess Friederike of Hesse-Darmstadt. At the time of her birth, Louise's father was not yet the ruler of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (he would not succeed his brother as Duke until 1794), and consequently she was not born in a court, but rather in a less formal home. Charles was field marshal of the household brigade in Hanover, and soon after Louise's birth he was made Governor-General of that territory by his brother-in-law George III, king of the United Kingdom and Hanover (husband of his sister, Queen Charlotte). The family subsequently moved to Leineschloss, the residence of Hanoverian kings, though during the summer they usually lived at Herrenhausen. Louise had grown up into a beautiful young woman, possessing "an exquisite complexion" and "large blue eyes," and was naturally graceful. Louise's uncle, the Duke of Mecklenburg, hoped to strengthen ties between his house and Prussia. Consequently, on one evening carefully planned by the Duke, seventeen-year-old Louise met the king's son and heir, Crown Prince Frederick William. The crown prince was twenty-three, serious-minded, and religious. She made such a charming impression on Frederick William that he immediately made his choice, desiring to marry her. Frederick and Louise were subsequently married on 24 December 1793. On 16 November 1797, her husband succeeded to the throne of Prussia as King Frederick William III after the death of his father. The couple had to abandon their solitude at Paretz and begin living under the restraints of a royal court. They began a tour of the country's eastern provinces. Louise was received everywhere with festivities. For the first time in Prussian history, the queen emerged as a celebrated public personality in her own right, as she occupied a much more prominent role than her predecessors.
Read more: Wikipedia
Find out about full size: