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|Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria|
Portrait by Joseph Stieler, 1843
|Queen consort of Prussia|
|Tenure||7 June 1840 – 2 January 1861|
|Born||13 November 1801|
Munich, Electorate of Bavaria
|Died||14 December 1873 (aged 72)|
Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony
|Spouse||Frederick William IV of Prussia|
|Father||Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria|
|Mother||Caroline of Baden|
Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (13 November 1801 – 14 December 1873) was a Princess of Bavaria and later Queen consort of Prussia.
Elisabeth was born in Munich, the daughter of King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria and his Queen Friederike Karoline Wilhelmine Margravine of Baden. She was the identical twin sister of Queen Amalie of Saxony, consort of King John I of Saxony, and sister of Archduchess Sophie of Austria, mother of Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria and Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico; as well as Ludovika, Duchess in Bavaria, mother of Franz Josef's consort, Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi), who was Elisabeth's godchild and namesake. She was known within her family as Elise.
On 29 November 1823, she married the future King Frederick William IV of Prussia and supported his intellectual interests, namely his attempts at artwork, which he held dear to his heart. She refused to become a Protestant as a condition of her marriage, insisting that she would only convert if she was convinced on the merits of the reformed faith after studying it for herself. It was only 5 May 1830, seven years after her marriage, that Elisabeth formally converted to Protestantism.
Becoming Queen consort of Prussia in 1840, she was never without influence in Prussian politics, where she was active in preserving the close friendship between Prussia and the Austrian Empire.
To Frederick William IV, she was an exemplary wife and, during his long illness, a dedicated nurse. She was initially hostile to her nephew's British wife, Victoria, Princess Royal, known within the family as Vicky, but their relationship thawed when Vicky took care of Elisabeth and comforted her during the early painful days of her widowhood. Elisabeth never forgot Vicky's kindness and in her will broke with tradition by leaving Vicky her jewels. These jewels were meant to have been bequeathed to the current Queen, (Augusta of Saxe-Weimar, Elisabeth's sister-in-law, who was by then Prussian Queen and German Empress); this was an offense for which Augusta never forgave Vicky.
After her husband's death on 2 January 1861, Elisabeth lived quietly at her seats at Sanssouci, Charlottenburg, and Stolzenfels and dedicated herself to charity work in memory of her late husband. Her brother-in-law, Emperor Wilhelm I of Germany, held her in high regard as a true friend.
|Ancestors of Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria|
The Church of Peace was built from 1845–54, based upon Italian models. King Frederick William IV and Queen Elisabeth were laid to rest here.
His marriage in 1823 to Elizabeth of Bavaria, a convert to Lutheranism, proved happy, although they had no children
Allerdings galt es vor der Eheschließung noch die Einwände Friedrich Wilhelms III. zu überwinden, der den Übertritt der Prinzessin zum evangelischen Glauben gefordert hatte. Festen Willens erklärte sie ihm jedoch, dass sie lieber zu gegebener Zeit aus innerer Überzeugung konvertieren würde. Eine vierjährige unglückliche Vermählungsgeschichte mit nervenaufreibenden politischen, diplomatischen und theologischen Beratungen, die das Brautpaar nur noch enger aneinander band, mündete schließlich in einer Sinneswandlung Friedrich Wilhelms III. Unter der Voraussetzung, dass Elise nach der Eheschließung möglichst umgehend ihren Übertritt öffentlich vollziehe, gab er schließlich nach. Am 16. November 1823 wurde sie nach katholischem Ritus per procurationem in der Hofkapelle der Münchener Residenz getraut. Ende November traf sie in Berlin ein, wo man ihr einen begeisterten Empfang bereitete, der jedoch durch ein Unglück auf der Notbrücke neben der noch nicht fertiggestellten Schinkelschen Schlossbrücke überschattet wurde, bei dem 22 Menschen den Tod fanden. Dem Brautpaar, das am 29. November von Bischof Eylert in der Schlosskapelle getraut werden sollte, verschwieg man den schrecklichen Vorfall.
Auch nachdem sie am 5. Mai 1830 zur Freude des Königs ihre Konversion vollzogen hatte, wurde ihr immer wieder nachgesagt, sie sei heimlich Katholikin geblieben und beeinflusse ihren Gemahl in dieser Richtung; Gerüchte, die der Wahrheit völlig entbehrten.
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Elisabeth Ludovika of BavariaBorn: 13 November 1801 Died: 4 December 1873
Title last held byLouise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
| Queen consort of Prussia
Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
Title last held byMaria Elisabeth Franziska of Bavaria
| Princess of Neuchâtel
Neuchâtel adopts Democracy